The Sjogren’s Journey

 The Road We Take

Greetings Sjoggie-Mates, long post. I generally post only when I feel that I have something to say or can contribute in some way to our health (even if it’s only a laugh). Lately, however, I have not had a lot to say, nor have I had a lot of energy to say it.

I will share that the fatigue monster continues to inhabit my body without invitation. While I am as tired of this never-ending chronic illness journey as you are, I am trying to be more mindful of my attitude and mind-set.

I have been doing a great deal of reading about how our attitude has much more to do with our health than most people realize. That is, our thoughts create our reality.


Do you find yourself ever waking up (every day) already thinking: About the terrible day you have ahead; this or that hurts; you slept your day will be awful, your exhausted before you even start your day, etc… Unfortunately, we all live our chronic and painful realities 24/7 and it can be difficult to not fall into this negative thinking.

Smart people have done lots of studies on how our thoughts really do create our realities and can greatly effect our health in a negative way. So what would happen if you decided to declare that you are going to have an amazing day every morning when you wake up?!

It's a bad day not a bad lifeR

SjoDry’s Morning Shower

Water pouring from a shower head

Think Positive!

I have started a new routine. Thankfully, my morning shower has long been established. I am referring to the mental discussion I have with myself while in the shower. Typically, it consists of a ticker list of all of the things I need to get done that day, which obviously do not have anything to do with being positive or negative and how I will go about the business of my day. But in  my reading, I read about an idea that I have adopted. The idea is to visualize the shower water washing away all of your negativity and showering you only with positivity and light.

I say things to myself like: I will have a great day today; Let everything I think, do, or say be positive; Let me be helpful to all of the people that I interact with today; I will see only the positive of other’s contributions; I will feel very energetic and productive today; My pain will be less today..and other things along those lines. Does it work? Yes! Obviously, my SS and pain don’t leave, but this process of starting my day in a very positive way, helps me to be more productive and focus far less on how badly I feel.


The other thing that I am doing is trying to make peace with my Sjogren’s. How does that happen you ask? Again, it is a deliberate mind-set. We have all heard someone say..”There are folks who are far worse off than we are” and it is true. But when you are the one who is totally entrenched in your own painful experience, it is not always easy to remember those others who have it worse than we are experiencing.

I have tried to change my thinking about Sjogren’s and why I have it. Is God trying to punish me? No. Just luck of the draw? Probably not. What if Sjogren’s Syndrome or any other chronic health problem came into our lives for the purpose of providing a lesson(s) to us?

What We Learn From Having Sjogren’s Syndrome


Living the life of a Sjogren’s patient has taught me:

  • To be more compassionate to others who are suffering painful medical conditions
  • Sjogren’s and chronic illness are not who I am
  • I have learned that doctors are not the supreme professionals that I counted on to heal me
  • I have learned that Sjogren’s can bring people together with a shared bond
  • I have most definitely learned that I must advocate for myself
  • I have learned that life is not over because I have Sjogren’s
  • Sjogren’s has taught me that one of the best things I can do for myself is to help others
  • Sjogren’s has been my supreme instructor in learning to be a more patient person
  • Sjogren’s has taught me that I am a much stronger person than I gave myself credit for
  • I have discovered that I can still be productive & work, regardless of the quantity of my output

I won’t continue to list all of the daily lessons I have learned and continue to learn from Sjogren’s, but they are definitely life lessons that will forever stay with me.


I am fond of saying, ” It is what it is,” but with Sjogren’s, it is really the truth. I was forced to accept this Sjogren’s intruder which forced itself into my life whether I wanted it or not. I cannot change it, but Lord knows that I have tried. It just seems to me that making the best peace that I can with my Sjogren’s is a healthier approach than being angry and hyper-focused  on how bad it is. Afterall, being constantly focused on your Sjogren’s condition, can contribute to high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and other symptomology.

Eye Message

Just Add Drops

Making peace with your Sjogren’s does not mean than you stop trying to find answers that can help your quality of life and self-management of the condition. Just don’t give it the power to control your life. There are some silver linings with Sjogren’s, you just have to add more eye drops to see them.

It’s Your Life

You are the only one who can control how you deal with whatever comes your way. I refuse to let Sjogren’s rob me of anything more than it has. It may have my body, but it does not have my mind…well not all of my mind. I still control the attitude part.

Text Scale

So I say..take a look at all of the wonderful things in your life. The blessings far outweigh the negative events. Think about what positive things that Sjogren’s has done for you? And by all your life no matter what!

Hug Your LifeR

SjoDry and Thinking

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 Random, Searching for Answers, Support, Symptoms and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Sjogren’s Journey

  1. Abe Heinrichs says:

    This was truly worth posting. There are so many nuggets I want to save them! And they are transferable to other illnesses and setbacks in life. Thank you!

  2. Studio Rose says:

    Just found you and this really is timely; I was just discussing with my rheumatologist the idea that our bodies are very much affected by what is in our minds and that there should be a way for us to use the power of our minds to change or at least improve what our bodies are doing, especially in the arena of auto-immune diseases.

    I was diagnosed this past July, but I had Sjogren’s since at least a year before that; my first indication (which I did not understand at the time) was that all of a sudden my contact lenses would hurt/burn my eyes when I tried to put them in. Coincidentally, I had just started a medication for a different condition, for which one of the side effects was “may change the way contact lenses feel on your eyes.” So I attributed the problem to the medication and went on my merry way, now a glasses wearer. Little did I know!

    I’m going to bookmark this page and read more posts when I have some time. Thank you for being there!

    • Hi S.Rose,
      So sorry I am just now answering your comment. My fun brainfog plays havoc with my memory & I forget to check my comments. I kind of got fed up with western medicine & have spent several months researching mindfulness & meditation. I absolutely think we can create our state-of-mind or contribute to it.

      Hope you are doing well!
      Take Care.

  3. You are so welcome! Take Care.

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