And here I am way on the other end of the scale as far as progression of my disease is concerned. The first symptoms I ever had, as far as I can assess it, happened when I was pre-teen. Very suddenly one day I developed a pain in my mid chest which had my mother sending for the doctor. They came to the house in those days :emoticons-yes: and I remember him being very perplexed. It was labelled colic but as a precaution I was sent for a barium meal xray. I have no memory of what the outcome was, but I suspect there was nothing that could be seen so the whole incident was forgotten.
The next thing was about 10 years later when I developed Raynaud's and Migraine. That continued for about 15 years until I developed a bowel prolapse and after that difficulty in swallowing. The prolapse and the oesophageal stricture were both treated separately by different surgeons and still nobody started to put things together.
At the same time I had funny swollen fingers, strange cuticles and strange lumps of gravel under my skin. Although, at the same time I had fairly typical tethered skin on my fingers from the first knuckle to the tips my hands were not restricted in any way and still aren't. I started to have episodes of ulcers on my ankles and one threatened ulcer on one finger which I managed to control.
Move forward to 2003 by which time I was 59, starting to get fed up with all these strange symptoms and really noticing the fatigue when going on long walks or walking the dog. Suddenly out of the blue one night I had a major episode of reflux and by the morning I was vomiting blood. Off to the Emergency Room and that's where they did the right blood tests and put everything together. Actually not quite as simple as that!! 3 different hospitals and 3 different doctors. were involved but the end result was Systemic Sclerosis.
I reckon it took 48 years from first symptom to diagnosis and I am probably not the first person to have such a journey. I am inclined to think that it was the fact that I have no obvious skin involvement that clouded the issue all along, but who knows :emoticon-dont-know:
So you can see that there is really no typical progression. Some of us behave one way, some another and there is no telling what will be your story. As far as I can remember my bloods showed an ANA titre of 1:2480 with centromere pattern but Scl 70 was negative.
I have never been on any medications other than to treat particular symptoms. Immunosupressants would possibly have helped in the early years but it is too late now to think about that. These days I am being looked after to control my symptoms of Scleroderma, Rheumatic Heart Disease, Primary Biliary Cirrhosis and Sjogren's Syndrome.
Best wishes to you