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Day 3: Cherice (Diagnosed at 35)

Please finish the following sentence: "Sjögren's has taught me...":
That stress isn’t worth it. I am learning to reframe my thinking to faith and positivity, so that my body responds in kind.

What are your most difficult symptoms?:
Digestive issues, as well as dry eyes and mouth.

How has Sjögren's impacted your life (either physically, emotionally, financially)?:
Having a high-risk pregnancy with Sjögren's during the 2020’s pandemic was one of the toughest things I’ve had to endure (largely alone). I was monitored weekly by doctors to ensure the disease wouldn’t impact the growing baby, while most people were trying to stay away from hospitals. A friend told me recently that Sjögrens saved me and my babies life because I learned how to cope with stress in the toughest conditions.

How do you effectively cope with the complexity of symptoms?:
Mindfulness, therapy and finding joy to balance life’s chaos.

What do you wish people knew about your Sjögren’s?:
Mine is truly “invisible”. I publicly speak a lot - and with nerves, my throat often closes up right before I get on the stage. With a glass of water and deep breathing, I always power through it, but the process (of feeling my body react) is mentally frustrating. This will amaze most people who believe I’m always poised.

How do you incorporate self-care with managing Sjögren's?:
I’ve been working on an anti-inflammatory diet. The ocean and beach is my refuge, and I aim to quarterly find relaxing environments to refuel. I’m aware our bodies are subconscious of our minds, and through visualization and simply laughter, I balance out life chaos.

What is your go-to Sjögren's product?:
Lemon drops! I happen to be a fan of Lemonheads since I was a kid, and so when my doctor recommended lemon drops to help with dry mouth, it was a no brainer.

What’s your best Sjögren’s tip?:
Be kind to yourself. Your body will thank you.

Click Here for more information on Pregnancy and Sjögren's