Rock Bottom..Are We There Yet?

Reality Slap


Have you ever been at “Rock Bottom”? Are you still on your way there? Or do you even know if you have (as they say), hit rock bottom? I don’t know what made me start thinking about this. I suppose for the last several days I have been contemplating all of my chronic health problems and the limitations they are putting on my life.

I just celebrated my 35th year wedding anniversary with my husband yesterday and I am also about to have a birthday on June 1st. I found myself remembering the “old me”. The me that was full of life, full of fun and enjoying my life (emphasis on enjoying my life).

I thought about the current me. The person who spends an inordinate amount of time searching the internet for health answers that I can’t find from doctors. The person who has exchanged fun hobbies for online health forums to search for answers and connect to people who understand this unchosen journey. The person who has seen every Hallmark movie at least 3 times and has almost memorized every Leverage show on TV. What happened to that woman who used to have boundless energy and enthusiasm for everything?


Searching For Answers

I couldn’t help thinking that we “Sjoggies” remind me of mice in a maze. Except our destination in this vision has us all trying to get to symptom relief at worst and remission at best. I’m tired of all of it folks. I’m tired of running on a wheel trying to get my health back  and getting no where. It occurred to me that most people  look forward to their weekend so that they can sleep in, catch up on housework or laundry, have fun and/or rejuvenate in general. But that doesn’t happen on my weekends. My pain and fatigue never take the weekend off. I feel just as bad on Saturday and Sunday as I do the rest of the week. And the more medications that I add to my life, the worse I feel! Can you relate Sjoggie-Mates?



For those of you on the Sjogren’s World Forum, you will recognize that recently there was a post that sent electricity throughout the community. The person talked about his journey to better health and what he called “recovery”.  In all of my years as a forum member, I had never seen such an uproar over a post. I thought about that post and wondered about why people became so “up in the air” over it? Was it semantics? Was it because this person had chosen a very strict diet and supplements to achieve his better health? Could some have been jealous that he felt so great and we feel so poor? Was it because at our core, we question whether we have what it takes to tow the line to such a strict and unwavering food & supplement lifestyle? Did it feel like a dangling carrot? Maybe some have already tried it without committed success.

Many of us have tried various dietary approaches. I will be the first to admit that I’m confused. One book tells me to be lose meat & dairy, while the other tells me to add it. Both sources tell me that the food offenders in their plan cause inflammation, which we think is one of the main reasons for our pain. Perhaps it’s the gluten. But an article in Pub Med that I read reported that Sjogren’s patients do not have a positive response to their conditions by eating gluten-free. So which is it? Can you understand why we are all running around in a maze hitting walls?

larger purple maze

So How Will We Know?


I came across a quote by J.K. Rowling that spoke to me: ” Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

So how will we know when we have arrived at rock bottom? Is it when we look at ourselves and don’t want to be us anymore? For me, the answer is yes. I look at the whiny, feel bad lump I have become and I don’t want to spend whatever years I have left like this. I am finally ready to try a strict food plan, that really & truly becomes a lifestyle for me. Part of my motivation is because I ran into a friend who had been very ill for sometime. Several months ago, she wandered into a holistic, supplement type store when visiting her parents out of state. She happened to meet a Functional Medicine doctor who has changed her entire world. My friend lost 30 lbs. and is now off of all medicines except for one. She follows the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol by Sarah Ballantyne and took supplements. And yes..I want her pain-free status.

For those of you who have followed my blog for awhile, you know that I have an addiction to chocolate and probably sugar in general. To follow this strict Autoimmune protocol, I must give up sugar and several other offenders, something I have sworn  many times throughout my life, that I did not think that I would or even could give it up. But I am ready. I need a better quality of life than this and I am ready to go all in with a different approach. Healing myself from the inside out. Hmm. What a concept.

I completed my first Alternative Medicine Doc consult by phone yesterday afternoon. I loved that it was only $50.00, because this doctor has a real commitment to HELP patients, she keeps her rates very low. I did buy a lot of supplements..but at far less costs than what I pay for my medical appointments, prescriptions and over the counter products. My first phase will last for 100 days. It is strict, but I am ready. And best of all is that I have the first doctor that I have ever had..who said to me, ” I will address every symptom that you have and help you to get off all of your medications”. Yes, that’s a first. It looks like I have added the last doctor to SjoDry’s “Dream Team”.

Here’s to Healing!

SjoDry and Hopeful




About VitalSignsPgh

Sandy Burkett is the Creative Engineer, President and Owner of Vital Signs. Vital Signs is a certified Native American/Woman-Owned custom sign and graphics company located in Carnegie, PA.
This entry was posted in Food & Diet, Random, Searching for Answers, Support, Symptoms and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Rock Bottom..Are We There Yet?

  1. Andrea says:

    Excellent post Sjo Awesome! I think that even if one has not hit rock bottom, we (us sjoggies and AI/chronic illness sufferers) can all relate to this your thoughts here. I am pulling for you, praying for you and I know that if anyone can do it, it’s you! Looking forward to your 100 day post!

  2. Kyleen says:

    Definitely worth a try!  If anyone can do it, you can.  Love, Kyleen.

  3. Tate says:

    Can you share the doctor’s number, or will she not work with people in a different area. Your post is so in align with how I feel.

    Let me know.

    • Tate,

      She absolutely works with folks in different states. I am in PA. & she is in Florida. You will need to call her to set up the phone consult. She works out of a holistic food/supplement store (Debbie’s Health Foods) which has 2 separate locations near the Daytona area. Because my medical history is so complex, I sent her a brief 2 page summary (past diagnoses, past surgeries, current symptoms, current meds & current supplements). I also sent her some recent bloodwork. I don’t know her schedule or which store she is in every day. I just called one of the locations & was referred to the other store. Her name is Dr.Margot King and she works out of Debbie’s Health Foods. Here is the link: (I hope it works).

      Also, on the main page of Debbie’s Health Foods, if you page down there are a list of radio podcasts that Dr.King has done. My radar went up when I heard she had her own supplement line…but after I listened to several different radio podcasts, I was fine. In fact, she creates her supplements from herbs from the rain forest which I don’t think other supplements do (I think I heard that on one of her podcasts). Anyway. the cost is $50.00 for an hour. I’ve blown that much many times with nothing to show for it. Not only that..I called around my area to Functional Med Docs & the cheapest price I could find was $450.00 for an initial consult (which I don’t have)

      Please tell her that (Sandy Burkett from PA., Linda’s friend referred you). I don’t know about you..but I am ready. I wish you luck and please stay in touch with me to let me know how you do if you decide to try this route. I run a support group & have many people that will be curious to see what response I (or Sjoggies I know) have.

      Good Luck!!

  4. Lisa says:

    That is a great first step! I wish I could find an Alternative Medicine doc in my area. The diet changes are totally worth it! I started an anti-inflammatory diet two years ago. I also gave up sugar, dairy, and I restrict my gluten. I noticed changes in just two weeks! I have lost over 30 lbs. I am not cured or even in remission, but I am a lot better than I was two years ago. I take more supplements than prescriptions now, and I try to walk and do Yoga every day.
    It is not easy but you can do this!! 🙂 Good Luck!

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