Carson 21 (diagnosed at 19)
Patient-to-patient topic: Chronic Pain
I’ve been dealing with the pain since I was 18. No doctors would listen because I was so young. My labs were positive for Sjögren’s. I still haven’t found any type of therapies or medications that truly help with the pain on a daily basis, but I have hope that there will be something at one point.
Most difficult symptoms: Chronic neck and back pain, constant muscle cramping
How has Sjögren's impacted my life: Physically - no longer able to run marathons, my job in healthcare has become increasingly challenging with pain flare ups. Emotionally - I'm no longer able to do the things most people my age can do, it’s hard to sit for over 30 minutes so it is hard on college.
What I wish I knew when first dealing with these symptoms and Sjögren’s: You’re not crazy, the pain is real and you need to find doctors that listen to you and advocate for you.
Go-to products/tools: Aleve rubbing gel and hot rice packs.
What’s your best Sjögren’s tip? Don’t let pain win. Don’t give up. Always keep moving.