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It's everything I want to tell people when they make small talk and profound talk, but I often can't. Sickness, sex, and the process of dealing with aging parents feel unspeakable and sometimes unreachable, but they sure aren't here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Grit Beneath my Lids

The Racetrack Playa Originally uploaded by melastmohican.

Sjogren's syndrome along brings some surreal realities, much like that pic. Eye pain can wake me up. What's happening is the lid is sticking to the eye because the eye is so dry. Sjogren's is an autoimmune disease in which the body immune's system attacks and kills moisture-producing elements of the body. Tears are a gift of the body. When they left, I used lubricant eyedrops at a record pace. Most of the time, immunesuppressive therapy for systemic lupus also keeps Sjogren's trouble under wraps as well, but as with every incurable disease, there are "break-through" symptoms. During the thickness of this past August, I lived in a forest for the first time and enjoyed walks. When I couldn't figure out a sticky pain in my eye, I went to the eye doctor, who sat me down and then scraped globs of pollen off my eye. No tears means less effective removal of irritants. A Sjogren's resource group is called Moistureseekers. It was the first word I thought of when I saw the rock in the pic.

Photo credit: "The Racetrack Playa" by melastmohican on flickr (click photo for more work by this artist). See more of his work and writing on his blog.


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