patient stories

Surprise, Surprise

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“Out of the blue, I woke up one day and my eyes were literally stuck shut. Once I was able to get them open, I was terrified by what I saw in the mirror…red, swollen, very sore looking eyes. I immediately went to see an eye doctor, who prescribed me eye drops and sent me on my merry way. I fought these eye issues off and on for the next 7 years.

I had punctal plugs put in and used more eye drops and ointments than any human being should even know exists!  It wasn’t until I was actually diagnosed with Lupus and Sjogren’s Syndrome this past September that my eye doctor sent me to an Ophthalmology Specialist. In my first appointment with him he was able to determine that my tear ducts were completed blocked and informed me that I needed to have surgery to replace them. I walked out of his office that day a very angry person! It baffled me that no one, in the 7 years that I’d been seeking medical help for my eye issues, had ever thought to test me for an Autoimmune Disease. It infuriated me that I would have to endure two surgical procedures because the “experts” hadn’t done enough to rule out ALL of the possibilities!” – Sara

Meet Sara:
Sara has been living with autoimmune diseases for 25 years. She has Sjogren’s Syndrome, Alopecia, Pulmonary Hypertension, and Lupus. Sara is also a proud mom of three.
The question now is; how can we help the many children and young adults with the potential to have AI diseases?


Food for thought:

  • Why is it taking so long for diagnosis?
  • Why are doctors not testing for autoimmune diseases sooner?
  • How can we make these diseases less invisible?

Edited By: Tiffany Simms

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