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Dealing With Felty’s Syndrome w/ Sjogren’s Disease

My story has a different kind of start. My symptoms came on rapidly after a care accident in 2009. I began to have swelling and pain in different joints on a daily basis. One day I couldn’t walk and the next I wouldn’t be able to lift my arms. I was soon unable to continue my job as a mail carrier because I had the car accident it was assumed that it was associated pain from that. This went on for two years.

I had physical therapy, acupuncture, pain management etc. and just kept getting worse. I began to have problems with my lungs (I kept getting bronchitis). My health was on a downward spiral. I was told I had fibromyalgia and I was even told it was all in my head at one point.

I knew I was getting sicker and sicker. I ended up in the emergency room one morning almost exactly two years after my accident. Once there, they ran all kinds of tests and told me if I had waited another three hours I would not have survived. By this time my blood counts had bottomed out. I had three blood transfusions to stabilize this. I had developed sores all down my legs this was later diagnosed as “leg ulcers” from the RA. I was put on medicine to raise my blood counts. This was when I was diagnosed with Felty’s Syndrome. I spent three weeks in the hospital getting stabilized.

I have a great Rheumatologist now, I moved to a warmer climate, I eat healthier and read everything I can get my hands on. I still have alot of issues. Because of the Sjorgren’s Disease and the medication in two years I have lost all of my teeth and wear dentures at 44. My feet are the worst, I can’t stand for anything to touch them, even the fan blowing on them causes pain. My knees stay stiff and swollen, my shoulders and hands are affected. My throat and neck also cause me alot of pain. I lose my voice quite often now.

I have tried just about everything and am getting ready to try Rituxan infusions. I have a great support system and this helps alot. I have learned to do what I can and ask for help when I can’t.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Jen
    6 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your story Rena, this can be helpful just telling your story and reading others. I hope that you can find relief with the Rituxan.
    Good luck,

  • Mariah Z. Leach moderator
    6 years ago

    Hi Rena – Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story. How frustrating that your symptoms followed a bad accident – it must have been difficult for you to identify the source of the problem! I admire your persistence in being able to keep moving forward and I hope that the Rituxan infusions will help you! Sometimes finding the right biologic can make all the difference! Best of luck and remember that we are here to listen and support you!

  • Rena McDaniel author
    6 years ago

    Thank you so much!

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