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Gerry Fitzpatrick: Eosinophilic Fasciitis

No one knows where this comes from and all they tell me that it is a rare disease.

Mountain Range with Path and Trees for Gerry by Ione Bridgeman, ISN Representative I have suffered from this disease now for over seven months. I am a disabled Vietnam veteran and suffer from diabetes and also heart disease.

About three months after my bypass surgery, I noticed a tightness of my skin, as well as redness and inflammation. I went to see a dermatologist who did a deep biopsy. I was told that I did have eosinophilic fasciitis (EF). I was given prednisone which relieved the redness and heat from my skin but the tightness is still there. No one knows where this comes from and all they tell me is that it is a rare disease.

I have been off the prednisone for a month and a half, and the doctors now want me to start a new medication, methotrexate, to see if this will help my condition. It is very hard for me to walk and very painful when I do.

I have looked for support groups that deal with my disease, but could not find any so I contacted the International Scleroderma Network (ISN), which has stories of others who suffer from this.

My hands have become very weak and with all my other medical problems, this one really depresses me the most. I have tried to contact other veterans who may be suffering from this, and also those who served in Vietnam and were exposed to Agent Orange. I do not know if that has anything to do with this disease, but it seems that no one knows where it comes from and how a person gets this disease.

If anyone is interested in starting a support group for Eosinophilic Fasciitis, I would be willing to assist.

To Contact the Author

Email: [email protected]
Story posted 04-11-04 SS

Story Artist: Ione Bridgman
Story Editor: Judith Devlin
Diabetes Stories
Eosinophilic Fasciitis
Heart Involvement

ISN Artist: Ione Bridgman

Ione BridgmanISN Artist Ione Bridgman created original artwork to illustrate this page. She is 90 years old, and lives in New Zealand. Her lovely paintings illustrate many of our pages and the covers of our Voices of Scleroderma Book Series .

ISN Story Editor: Judith Thompson Devlin

Photo of JudithJudith Thompson Devlin is the ISN Story Editor for this story. She is also lead editor of the ISN's wonderful Voices of Scleroderma book series!

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