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Jules: CREST

I don't know if it will stay like this or progress into something life threatening.

Morning Glory Flower by Shelley EnszI a forty-two-year-old caucasian woman. At the beginning of 2010, I found myself experiencing stress induced flare ups causing overall muscle pain. The feeling was somewhat between severe flu and over exertion. Sometimes the pain was so bad I couldn't get out of bed.

After a couple of months of these symptoms, I saw my General Practitioner. He ran all the typical blood work which produced a positive ANA with a 1:180 titer in an anti-centromere pattern. I was sent to a a rheumatologist who ran further bloods. Everything else came back normal as did my pulmonary function test and echocardiogram.

I constantly feel stiff in the morning and night. Exercise relieves my pain but I often feel a compulsive need to stretch my muscles.

My rheumy diagnosed me with CREST even though I only experience Raynaud's in my toes.

I feel so helpless. I don't know if it will stay like this or progress into something life threatening. She has left me with no answers or expectations and I'm afraid my obsession will only aggravate my symptoms. Any advice/ experience would be appreciated.

To Contact the Author

Email: [email protected]
Story edited 06-04-2010 JTD
Story posted 06-14-2010 SLE

Story Artist: Shelley Ensz
Story Editor: Judith Thompson Devlin
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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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