Tatiana and Sjogren's

  • July 22, 2016
  • #8930

Tatiana discusses the symptoms and repercussions of her condition, and how she became closer to Jesus.

Tatiana and Sjogren's

Joni: Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a very special guest today.

And my friend Tatiana Sosa knows a great deal about disabilities. For one thing, we’ve worked together at Joni and Friends – Tatiana records these programs in Spanish for our Latin American listeners. But also, Tatiana understands long-term illnesses because she has a chronic condition called Sjogren’s syndrome. And since tomorrow is World Sjogren’s Awareness Day, I wanted you to hear from my friend Tatiana, because this is an invisible and long-term illness that can be really disabling. Welcome Tatiana!

Tatiana: Hi, Joni! Thanks for having me.

Joni: Absolutely! And you know, right off the top, just share your story with our listeners.

Tatiana: Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disorder.  Autoimmune mean that your body has an immune system that usually identifies, let’s say, a virus or cold and then attacks it and makes you feel better. But in autoimmune diseases your body starts attacking itself which makes you feel sick and can lead to inflammation. So with Sjogren’s syndrome your body attacks the glands that product moisture in your body.

Joni: So you have what?

Tatiana: Dry mouth, dry eyes, you also have other organs that require moisture; glands which are your kidneys, your lungs, your joints. 

Joni: My goodness. Well, I know this has tested your faith. You have had this for a long time. How has knowing Christ impacted this experience of Sjogren’s?

Tatiana: Sjogren’s syndrome, I have a very mild case of it, but there can be some complications that can develop. I talked about how it could affect your kidneys and your lungs. It increases your chance of developing lymphoma (a type of cancer) by 40 times the usual rate. If you are a mother who has Sjogren’s syndrome your baby can be born with a heart defect. And so there are a lot of things that could happen, so your doctors are constantly keeping a watchful eye on you and that can lead to fear and depression, it totally can. So having a relationship with Christ really helps you when the future is uncertain, but at the same time you know there is no cure, you know this is going to be with you for a long time.

Joni: Well, what scriptures have been anchors for you?  

Tatiana: I really like Matthew, chapter 10 and in verse 28. Jesus says these words to His disciples, “Don’t be afraid of people, they can kill you, but they cannot harm your soul.” Now He is talking about people and what people could do to them, but we could replace that word with ‘don’t be afraid of Sjogren’s syndrome, or don’t be afraid of cancer, because it could harm your body, but can’t touch your soul.’ Your soul belongs to Jesus. 

Joni: So don’t be afraid. 

Tatiana: Don’t be afraid.  And He repeats the same word again in verse 31, He says, “So don’t be afraid because you are worth so much."

Joni: And sometimes it’s the Sjogren’s or the lupus, or the invisibility disability, or visible, (like my condition), that does the best for your soul. 

Tatiana: Absolutely! Through my chronic illness I have grown closer to Jesus and it’s on those days when I feel the most pain, when I’m the most dry and having trouble eating and swallowing my foods that I’m reminded of how good Jesus has been to me. I mean, He died on a cross; He suffered for me, so He gets it and He promises to help me through it.

Joni: Well those are good words for our listeners struggling with invisible disabilities. Friend listening, if you have an invisible condition we at Joni and Friend would love to hear from you. We have encouraging resources to help you through the tough times and we would be honored to pray for you. So share your story, just like Tatiana shared hers. Share with me today at joniandfriends.org or on our Joni and Friends Facebook page. 

Tatiana: Thanks for enlightening us. 

Tatiana: It’s been a pleasure.

Joni: And, Tatiana all I can say is muchas gracias, amiga!

Tatiana: De nada!  

© Joni and Friends

 

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