(Note: If you're interested in art, sketching, painting, this post will not be interesting in the least!)
Staring at my Last Summer Face on the screen, as I paint my self portrait (over and over--layers scrubbed off and re-laid, sometimes just painted over) puts my thoughts to Sjogren's Syndrome. Yes. The red-rimmed eyes, the small, tight mouth that looks more like a grimace than a smile--Sjogren's. Blech.
I am just a month away from my next two day Rituxan infusion set. Six months ago, I was going to really, really track my improvement/non-improvement from the medication, and I guess I didn't do such a good job of it. Or else it didn't do such a good job on me, because I didn't notice any relief of any symptoms. Joint aches, shortness of breath, dry, dry, dryness, raspy voice, stingy eyes, exhaustion, dry, dryness, right down my throat and into my lungs...all still present, in fact, magnified through the winter cold and flu season (but I managed to escape the flu!) Colds, all winter long. One cannot turn away germs without saliva, tears, and such. I picture little germ beasts adhering to my juice-less mucus membranes and immediately turbocharging through my bloodstream.
Actually, I am not posting these thoughts to be a whiner! I'm just trying to take stock of how the infusion has helped or not helped, and maybe trying to ask for thoughts from other Sjogreneers.
Maybe the tough winter was not due to dryness and not being able to fight germs? Maybe it was due to coming close to the end of the last infusion's effect? Heck. Maybe it was due to the last infusion, itself? Drugs to quash my over-active immune system's desire to fight me probably quashed my immune system's desire to protect me, too?
Hoo Boy. I just don't know.
Now...back to that self-portrait. I almost have the skin tones right.