This lovely photography by Caroline, found here.
My base level is pretty hopeful. I have my low moments like everyone else...times when I'm depressed, when I frankly don't want to move past my negativity in the moment to think about the hope of tomorrow...but they pass. I see myself as an optimistic person, but some news recently took me by storm. I found an article on Arthritis Today about MULTIPLE advances in treatments for Sjogren's Syndrome, ranging from drugs to biologic therapies (see the article, link below) to gene therapies...and even artificial salivary glands! OMG!
That's what really pushed me over the edge. The idea of an artificial gland to restore oral moisture (dry mouth's one of my more prominent symptoms)...well it's almost too much to imagine. I thought I was usually hopeful, but when I read this article and had this dramatic reaction, I realized how hopeless I had been.
I had hope for societal changes - understanding, an interest in learning, acceptance - but it seems I never really gave much thought to medical hopes. I could talk about hope for a breakthrough, but hadn't considered the reality of that hope and what it could mean for me.
Many of us have been asked that (somewhat ridiculous) question, "if you could magically make it happen, would you like to be completely cured". I think a lot of people share my reaction that actually, I'm not sure I would. My experiences as a patient are a BIG part of who I am and why I'm who I am. If I woke up one day with the need for those experiences gone, who might I become? Maybe I'm better off carrying my cross everyday so I remember who I am.
But that's when it's a magical, mythical, cured state. What if I could undergo a procedure or treatment, or maybe an ongoing treatment, to be "cured"? If it weren't magic, but validated science? This is another thing entirely. This, I think, could be the best of all worlds. I could have relief but still remain connected to 'who I am'.
And as a side note, for the record, to me this scientific cure would still be a miracle. People think of miracles as something unexplained - but I believe most times they are perfectly explainable and still a gift from God. Did you ever wonder WHY a cure came out when it did? WHY someone came upon a person in an emergency when they did? WHY the rainbow appeared on a day when someone needed to see it the most? Can't science have "solved" a problem because God led them to it? I'm quite sure it's all God's doing.
But I digress:) I'll leave you with my hope, and the article on Arthritis Today responsible for it. Perhaps it's not coincidence that I found the article at all....;)
Arthritis Today Article: Sjogrens Syndrome Medication Treatment for Sjogrens Disease