Thursday, September 1, 2011
Venus and Me
Have you heard that Venus Williams has had to pull out of the U.S. Open this year? She has been suffering from unexplained fatigue and joint pain, but didn't know the cause. She was recently diagnosed with an autoimmune condition known as Sjogren's Syndrome. It causes fatigue and joint and muscle pain, among other symptoms.
Not many people have heard of Sjogren's Syndrome. My ears perked up when I heard the news about Venus Williams. You see, I have had it myself for years. In my case, it was diagnosed about fifteen years ago. My doctor found it through a routine blood test. I had been having dry eyes and dry mouth, and didn't know why; I found out these are typical symptoms of Sjogren's. There is no cure, but the symptoms are treated. I use eye drops several times a day. I tried tear duct plugs, but they wouldn't stay in. I have to have my teeth cleaned and examined every three months, becuase dry mouth can cause dental problems. Now that I am older, I do fatigue fairly easily, and this may be the reason. It's a good thing I don't have to make a living playing tennis!