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Hello, I am a 30ish female and I've been experiencing symptoms of what I believe to be Sjogren's since I was in my early teens. I first went to a doctor for chronic joint pain when I was around 17 years old, after begging my mother to take me to get help. (I did not grow up in a healthy home environment.) Fear from my mother being present in the examination room left me unable to articulate my symptoms and the doctor dismissed my symptoms as a result of me being fat. (Not kidding.) Escaping my childhood house of horrors kept me pretty broke throughout my 20s, so I was unable to get any kind of regular medical care. The symptoms of fatigue and joint pain stuck around throughout everything. I started to develop severe dental problems and was accused of doing drugs by several dentists and a couple recommended dentures. An eye doctor noticed I had eye damage which I attributed to working outdoors. Fast forward a decade or so. Last year I was admitted to the ER with a corneal laceration do to severe dry eyes and I have been using eye drops 2-3 times daily ever since. I wake up every morning practically unable to speak my mouth is so dry. I experience difficulty swallowing at times, I have had over $10,000 of dental work done, have regular migraines, extremely dry skin, and still experience severe fatigue and pain. However the good news is I devoted the last decade to losing weight, getting financially stable and getting some kick-butt health insurance. I am now in a position to purse a diagnosis. Question is, do I want too? Is it worth it? My childhood and early life experience has not given me warm fuzzy feelings toward the medical establishment in general. I'm managing the symptoms as I have for decades and will continue to manage them after a diagnosis is made, the diagnosis will essentially change nothing. I'm concerned that the doctor's won't take me seriously, again. Plus people tell me now I could not possibly have accomplished what I have while still dealing with the symptoms I deal with on a regular basis. I really don't want to have to beg to be taken seriously, I would rather just keep on going like I have been. The problem is will the lack of a diagnosis harm me later in life. I don't want to wake up in some hospital on down the road with people saying if we had only known.... Does anyone have any thoughts?
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