Skip to main content


Lauren 63 (Diagnosed at 48)

Please finish the following sentence: "Sjögren's has taught me...":
Sjögren's has taught me greater empathy for those struggling with health issues. It has also taught me how to tease apart physical well-being from mental and spiritual well-being. Sometimes my body doesn't feel well, but I am still able to find small wonders and beauty to appreciate each day.

What are your most difficult symptoms?:
When I'm flared I am often in pain and also completely sapped of energy. I also have gastrointestinal issues that are caused by Sjögren's and not always easily managed.

How has Sjögren's impacted your life (either physically, emotionally, financially)?:
For the last 12 years or so I have had increasing amounts of time when I don't feel well. I was fortunate to be able to cut back to part-time at work in 2012 and I retired altogether at the beginning of 2016 (and receive a pension). I began a small business, but my energy level is not predictable, and so I found I couldn't keep up. I now spend time writing and am currently taking a memoir writing course.

How do you effectively cope with the complexity of symptoms?:
I am very fortunate and grateful to have a lot of ease built into my life. Apart from doctors appointments, I have a lot of flexibility to rest when I need to. I have a variety of systemic issues and try to make sure I'm doing what I can to relieve symptoms.

What do you wish people knew about your Sjögren’s?:
That I may look well, but actually not feel well at all. Sjögren's can be a bit of an invisible illness.

How do you incorporate self-care with managing Sjögren's?:
We all need to practice self-care, but it''s vital when you have a chronic illness. I try to get enough sleep, stretching and exercise, structure some space around activities (as I'm able) and just listen to my body and what it tells me it needs.

What is your go-to Sjögren's product?:
Apart from all of the eye-related products, honestly products made by Femme Pharma for menopausal and Sjögren's induced vaginal dryness are lifesavers.

What’s your best Sjögren’s tip?:
Remember that others often won't realize that you need rest, because you often look fine! It's up to you to take good care of yourself, or to ask others for help if you need it.