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Does this sound like scleroderma?

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#1 Bearface



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Posted 12 June 2011 - 08:20 AM

Hi all,

My general practitioner referred me to a rheumatologist last year after both my hands swelled up and the joints became itchy and sore underneath. The Xrays came back fine as did various blood tests.

I have my next appointment next month and my right hand has got worse over the past month. My hand feels tights and looks shiny and red. Warm water gives it a burning sensation. My other hand is often clammy but the right hand is dry. Sat here now and one hand is rather damp but the right hand is bone dry which never used to happen. I have tried a cream which works for a few minutes then the hand is tight and sore again. The fingerpads of my hand feel somewhat taut if that makes sense; not numb but less sensitive.

Apart from that I have been tired all the times for literally, years, and my knees and other joints have begun to ache a lot.

#2 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 12:41 PM

Hi Bearface,

Welcome to Sclero Forums! I'm sorry you have health concerns and am sending some warm hugs your way.
I'm sure you realize that we are not doctors and are not able to diagnose anything via the internet, either. To quell your concerns a bit, your situation sounds to me like arthritis and there are many different types of arthritis. Scleroderma is only one type of arthritis and on top of that, it is the rarest form, too. What you describe is just as likely to occur with other things, like rheumatoid arthritis; and since your prior xrays and blood tests came out okay, it could even be something else. For example, diabetes can affect the hands in a similar fashion.

So it is way too early to jump to any sort of conclusions. I have some dim advice, which most people won't even listen to, as to how to get through the next month. It is very easy for worry to overtake us when we don't know what we are dealing with. In this situation, I would look at my calendar and see how I could fill it in with something happy and fun to look forward to every day. I might take up a new hobby. Make plans to meet with friends. Invite someone over for coffee. Take a little walk (or mosey) every day. Play music. Go to movies, do anything at all to distract myself to the maximum. Because worry is only going to make any health issue worse (it is hard on the immune system), happy things are going to get immune-enhancing chemicals working for us, and it can get totally crazy-making to wonder what it could be.

We're certainly here for you in the meantime, of course. Your doctor will have more answers for you than we can, but we all understand the drive to figure out what it could be (even without a medical degree).
Warm Hugs,

Shelley Ensz
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#3 Bearface



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Posted 12 June 2011 - 01:27 PM

Thank you for the warm welcome and helpful advice. I'm a student nurse so liable to research every possible disease I could have and drive myself bonkers! Hopefully I will find out what it is. :)

#4 Amanda Thorpe

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Posted 12 June 2011 - 01:38 PM

Hello Bearface

Welcome to the forums! It's great that you already have a follow up appointment in place and in the meantime it's rather pointless worrying about what "it" might be simply because it could be anything or nothing!

So relax, have a wander around the site, it's the best place for scleroderma information and keep us posted.

Take care.
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#5 Joelf


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Posted 12 June 2011 - 03:51 PM

Hi Bearface,

Welcome to these forums!

I understand (none better! ;) ) how easy it is to google every possible disease to suit the symptoms experienced and frighten myself witless! :rolleyes: Unfortunately the problem is that there is quite a lot of information on the internet regarding Scleroderma and other similar sounding illnesses and a lot of it can be inaccurate. At least now you've found our forums you've enabled yourself to obtain correct, up to date information about this complex disease.

I've included a link to Scleroderma to give you some useful information about the disease which I hope you'll find interesting and helpful.

Do post again and let us know how you get on with your rheumatologist's appointment. :emoticons-group-hug:
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