Sunday, October 25, 2015


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I Am A Heavy Drinker

**As a special note, it is possible to drink too much water which can be deadly. Sjogren’s patients need to monitor water intake with their doctors as well as be aware of their urine output in relation to the amount of water they are drinking.**

      I’ll admit it. I drink. A lot! All the time. Everywhere. In my car. At work. At the movies. Morning, noon, and night. I even get up in the middle of the night to feed my habit. I openly carry drinks with me. In public. I am not ashamed of my drinking problem one bit. What’s more? I expect my family to not only support me in this, but to supply me as well.
    Why? Because my drink of necessity is water. With a little salt added. This is what a person with Sjogren’s does. Drinks. Water. Constantly.
    I know that in recent years the fitness craze has turned everyone on to carrying water bottles with them. But this is not the same as what we-those with Sjogren’s-do. Fitness people carry small bottles of “In” water with vitamins or energizers or the flavor of the day. We do not. We cannot afford to. We carry plain water. In super mega refillable liter water bottles. Because we actually drink it. All day long.
    Here’s the deal: An average 150 lb person at an average altitude, in average weather conditions, not pregnant, breastfeeding or feverish, and getting 10 min of exercise daily would need 76 oz or 2.3 liters of water per day to stay hydrated according to the water calculator app http://nutrition.about.com/library/bl_water_calculator_results.htm*
But the thing is, our bodies don’t process water correctly. Our bodies attack our moisture centers. So we are continually dry. We need more water just to break even. And there is no calculator for that.
    You see, a Sjogren’s body needs water to swallow food, to speak, to digest, to move smoothly, to build blood volume, to see clearly, sometimes even to breathe-(Have you ever felt like your lungs were filled with hot cotton, your eyes with sand, or your throat with glue? I thought not.). All of these actions require moisture which we do not produce well. We also need water to prevent our bodies from making stones. Kidney stones, gallstones, tonsil stones-yeah, those are real! Because our moisture centers are often swollen, the normal amount of water isn’t be able to be processed and do it’s job. We need extra just to do the same work. So we need to drink all the time.
    And we are many! You may not be able to spot us in public easily, as I said, everyone seems to be carrying water bottles now, but at home the signs of our drinking are everywhere. There may be empties all over the house or the recycle bin will be overflowing with our bottle of choice. I handle my drinking a bit differently. You will see a colorful collection of refillable containers all over my house. This leads to people never quite knowing what I’m drinking or how much. Which can cause problems of it’s own. I have been stopped and questioned going into the courthouse for work, going into the SSA for work, going into concert venues with my kids, and during a traffic stop once (I’ll admit that one was because I had had beer spilled on me and really reeked of alcohol)!
    So now I carry a doctor’s note explaining my water. It literally states that due to my medical condition, I must have water with me at all times. Yes. I am 49 years old and still have to resort to pulling out a doctor’s note to carry water with me on occasion. Seriously. My cane can be used as a deadly weapon but there seems to be no issue with that! (Or with the narcotics in my purse but I’ll leave that for another post…) But try to walk into a hockey game with an unopened bottle of water! (They allowed it but took the cap away…)
    So next time you are at dinner and the person at the next table orders their meal and an entire pitcher of ice water, don’t stare. Just understand that they are sick-chronically ill actually, and they have to drink like that. It’s just the way their body works. And if you are security somewhere I am attending, remember this; I have a cane and am not afraid to use it!
No one messes with my water!


**As a special note, it is possible to drink too much water which can be deadly. Sjogren’s patients need to monitor water intake with their doctors as well as be aware of their urine output in relation to the amount of water they are drinking.**

*Hydration Calculator from Nutrition.About.com