It's 98 degrees today here in Pa, and I am miserable in it! I am desperately trying to stay out of the sun and heat. That got me thinking about how having Sjogren's is like being a Mogwai from The Gremlins movie. Don't ask me how I made that jump in thought. That kind of thing happens to me all the time!
If you are in your mid twenties, thirties, or the respectfully older crowd you may remember the classic 80's movie The Gremlins. My family watched the movie every time it was on TV. I do mean EVERY time! My brother and I could quote the movie word for word when we were kids.
Anyway, they are undeniably cute and furry. They tend to be so mellow at times you could almost forget that they are there. Then when you least expect it, somebody comes along to feed the Mogwai after midnight and they turn into Gremlins on you just like that!
Eventually my Gremlins will fade away and turn back into the Mogwai again. Until then I am left to make lists to keep myself entertained. So I give you 7 similarities between my Sjogren's symptoms and the Mogwai....
1. Gremlins have some crazy teeth... Though it might seem silly to think that we Sjoggies have to worry about our teeth more than "normal" folk, this is true. Because we generally have less saliva in our mouths, due to our degenerate salivary glands, we have a much higher chance of getting cavities. As my dentist explained it, the saliva in our mouths acts like a coating on our teeth and makes them slippery. With our teeth being slippery it is harder for germs to attach themselves. So it goes without saying that if a person has less saliva then they also have less protection against cavity causing germs. Wish I could have Slimer's teeth!
2. They cannot eat after midnight... This timing could really be moved up to eight o'clock for me. Any food that is eaten by me after that time just bursts into a crazy case of heartburn. Usually this also comes with back pain. Back pain can be a common symptom of GERD. Which I have thanks to a side effect of an anti-inflammatory medication I have been on. It's certainly no Pretty Woman story!
3. Mogwai are repelled and injured by light... It seems that no matter what SPF I use I always get sun burn. I usually have on SPF 50 (or higher) as well as my sun visor at all times while I am outside. And I always need my sunglasses. Yes, there are days that I look like a seventy year old woman. But I have come to realize that it's a necessary evil while outside in the sun. At least I won't look like E.T. some day!
4. Once the Mogwai’s internal clock says that it is time to eat, the Mogwai may become hungry. This process triggers the start of the metamorphosis... You sooo do not want to be around me once my blood sugar has dropped! I morph into a truly evil creature willing to rip through downtown sky rises to get to some food into my system. I become a force to reckoned with and need to find food quicker than "The Back to the Future" Delorian.
5. The Mogwai grows rapidly in size... The heat makes me swell horribly. I look at my fingers and think of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters. When that happens I try to pry off my wedding rings and glance longingly at them as I pass by them throughout the day.
6. A Mogwai want to seek out water as quickly as possible... As much as possible I carry a bottle of water with me wherever I go. I am thirsty constantly so I am always drinking. Water is definitely one of my top three things I need for traveling especially. The other two being hand cream and my special chap stick. Fortunately for me I don't act like Long Duc Dong after his night of drinking!
7. Their fur falls out... Fortunately it is not a constant thing but, yes, my hair falls out. There are days that I feel like the bottom of my shower looks like I've invited Chewbacca to use it!
So I hope you enjoyed the comparisons and the eighties movie shouts outs! I got a chuckle thinking of the similarities. I hope you did as well. And if you didn't, I'll leave you with one more..."Hasta la vista Baby!"