Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Minus One

I guess it's time to take my name off the MS registry.
( Sorry, Ms. Cheese, you'll have to recalculate.)

No! I haven't been cured. I still have all the pretty white spots on my MRI indicating lesions from demyelination. I still have balance problems, bouts of optic neuritis, muscle spasms, numbness, tingling, nerve pain, bladder dysfunction, extreme fatigue...ahh the list goes on and on....

Now add to that, dry throat (explaining why I choke on food), dry eyes, digestive problems, kidney problems and new joint pains to dance with my nerve pains.

My new diagnosis is Sjogren's Syndrome

WOOOT you say?

Actually I exclaimed quite alot of expletives when i was faced with that announcement.

I always thought that Sjogren's was a minor annoyance, dry eyes, dry mouth..big deal.... WRONG. In many cases the symptomology does not go farther than that, but like MS everyone is different. In some cases, Sjogren's can and does mimic Multiple Sclerosis when in invades the central nervous system.

I had to read the studies myself to be convinced...and honestly even now, I'm still shaking my head.

Here are some articles you may find interesting:

Neurologic manifestations in primary Sjögren syndrome: a study of 82 patients.

The prevalence of Sjögren syndrome in patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis.

Myelopathy in seronegative Sjögren syndrome and/or primary progressive multiple sclerosis.

I was tested for SS years ago, before I had my MS diagnosis. The blood tests were negative. The explanation... Not enough antibodies swirling around at that time? I just don't know.
Some articles suggest that MS and SS can coexist with the Sjogrens being secondary. Other say it often mimics MS and is not diagnosed until the joint pains and sicca symptoms arise.

I found this web site very helpful and was told that the two women that founded it were first diagnosed and treated for Multiple Sclerosis before they found it to be Sjogren's Syndrome with CNS involvement. Sjogren's World

So, it walked like a duck, quacked like a duck, but it was a goose!

I guess it doesn't matter what you call it. Treatments are similar, with the exception of the DMD's, which might explain why I did not repond to any of them. The suggested treatment is methatrexate or cytoxins, and steroids, but as is often the case the potential risks of side effects need to be weighed against the benefits of use.

I have been attempting to adjust, both mentally and physically to this new development. I might be less dizzy if I could just stop shaking my head.