I first started having symptoms when I was fifteen years old. My mother took me to the doctor and that is where I learned that I had Raynaud's. I did pretty well for the rest of my teenage years just having problems in the winter and with really cold items.
I got married when I was twenty-one and really felt good. The next year in July I started not feeling well. I went to see my rheumatologist and that was when I was diagnosed with systemic scleroderma and rheumatoid arthritis. I was pretty sick for a couple of years.
At around the age of twenty-five, I decided I wanted a baby. Doctors warned me about the risks and said that was not the greatest idea because I was not in remission and was on a chemo drug which I had to stop first for three months. I decided to do it anyway knowing in my heart it was going to be okay. I never doubted having a baby once. I got pregnant right away. I had to have a lot of ultrasounds and stress tests, but it was worth it. I had a wonderful beautiful healthy little girl who is the light of my life.
I am twenty-nine now and my daughter is almost three years old. I work full time as an office manager for a gastroenterologist and keep up with a very busy life. I still have the disease and deal with it daily. I have realized some things, though. I thought my life was ending and that I would never have that little girl I always wanted. I was wrong. I did make it through somehow.
I realized I was a strong woman and that even though I had been given this horrible disease, I still had many blessings in my life. I want to let people know that we can be okay if we get diagnosed with scleroderma and with more awareness and research we are closer every day to finding a cure.
Do not give up on yourself and do not give in. Fight it and take care of yourself because you are a blessing to the world!
Email: [email protected]
Story edited 05-27-06 JTD
Story posted 08-03-06 SLE
ISN Senior Artist: Sherrill Knaggs
Story Editor: Judith Thompson Devlin
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid Arthritis Stories
Systemic Scleroderma (SSc)
SCLERO.ORG is the world leader for trustworthy research, support, education and awareness for scleroderma and related illnesses, such as pulmonary hypertension. We are a service of the nonprofit International Scleroderma Network (ISN), which is a 501(c)(3) U.S.-based public charitable foundation, established in 2002. Meet Our Team, or Volunteer. Donations may also be mailed to: