Hi Venus...I'm sorry about your recent diagnosis of Sjogren's Syndrome. I'm writing on behalf of the 4 million other American women who share Sjogren's. Welcome to our rather exclusive club. Sorry the timing of your invitation letter sucked, but there's never a good time. At least now you know that you actually have a reason to have felt so bad the last couple of months. For me, the Sjogren's diagnosis took away the guilt I felt for putting on my pajamas and crawling into bed at 6 p.m. I understood why carrying the groceries made me feel like I had taken an Army physical fitness test. And the basic understanding of the autoimmune disorder explained why I seemed to catch everything coming and going.
I know you have access to the best medical care possible. Please take advantage of that – then share it with us. Much about this disease is unknown and minimal funds have been devoted to research. Venus, we don't expect you to become the new standard-banner for our disease, but we do hope you'll share any knowledge you gain with us. How can we increase our energy level? Do any of the recommended diet plans work for you? And do those ginseng shots really work?
You'll need a rheumatologist...one who is willing to give you his cell phone for those days when you can't move. Your family doctor needs to be willing to combine traditional medicine with the new cutting edge discoveries. A good rheumy will let you try celebrex while he/she monitors your heart, yet still give you the trusty B-12 shots. He'll need to keep a good watch. I'm sure you know this already, but RA and Lupus are the evil triplets associated with Sjogren's Syndrome.
Most of all, I want to thank you for taking your battle public. My boss now knows I didn't make up this disease and, if it causes Venus Williams to put down a tennis racket, maybe that week missed in 2008 can finally be forgiven.
I've never liked tennis, Venus. That changed today. Now I'm your #1 fan.