I was fine until this summer when I began waking up with sore and swollen hands. I self-diagnosed myself with having rheumatoid arthritis. I finally decided to see my doctor when I could not even straighten my fingers without pain and discomfort and was feeling extremely lethargic.
The doctor ran tests. My ANA was positive with a speckled pattern, my ESR was elevated, and my rheumatoid factor was elevated. Also my hemoglobin and white blood counts were low. She referred me to a rheumatologist, but I do not see him until April, which is five months from now since we only have one in the city.
Since then I have begun swelling in my pelvic area and my lower legs, ankles and feet. Everyone tells me my eyes are always puffy. I am going back to my doctor tomorrow as I am concerned with possible fluid build up in and around my lungs or heart. My blood pressure was more elevated than usual and I am still so extremely tired.
I just want to say thank you for this invaluable site. I plan to learn as much as I can and come out on top of it all.
Story edited 11-02-05 JTD
Story posted 11-18-05 SLE
ISN Senior Artist: Sherrill Knaggs
Story Editor: Judith Devlin
Causes of Scleroderma: Genetics
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