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Dr. Madhu Bhatia: Morphea

I am entangled in a web of doctors with no clear diagnosis.

Hello. I am Madhu Bhatia from Delhi, India. It was in late 2000 that I saw a small dark patch on the outer side of my left foot. Since it did not trouble me I did not bother with it. I was very active, going about my walking, etc.

In March 2001, I showed my dark patch to my husband's niece, a dermatologist at a leading government hospital, and inquired if it was cancerous, as that was the first thought I had. She suggested a biopsy which showed a negative result for cancer, but she said that it confirmed her diagnosis of morphea. The biopsy wound healed and I was given various steroid applications from time to time.

My troubles began when after a Melanocyl application, hard boils appeared, which were very painful. Thereafter, I have had a bad time running from one doctor to another. With one antibiotic dose to another there was no healing and no respite. A leading Ayurveda doctor asked me to stop taking curd and salt and gave me several other things to take. I was also to put the crushed leaves on the wound. Surprisingly, a fifty percent healing occurred.

I was also getting regular consultation from another dermatologist at Chandigarh, who, in August, suggested that I go for blood work and X-rays. Luckily everything was normal. I was, however, told to take tuberculosis medicine, which I did not take.

More troubles started on the tenth of September, when the whole wound became ulcerated and was extremely painful. Another reputed dermatologist, who got the IgG and IgM and Mantoux tests, said that my clinical diagnosis was not Morphea, but TB Panniculitis with deep fungal infection or pyoderma gangrenosean. Another dose of antibiotics has followed with painkillers.

When will I get respite and correct diagnosis? My TB test is marginal, with IgM marginal/equivocal. Pain on the wound is excruciating. I am entangled in a web of doctors with no clear diagnosis.

To Contact the Author

Dr. Madhu Bhatia
Email: (Dr. Bhatia, please send Shelley your current email address.)
Story posted 9-20-02

ISN Senior Artist: Sherrill Knaggs
Story Editor: Judith Devlin
Difficult Diagnosis

ISN Artist: Sherrill Knaggs (In Loving Memory)

Sherrill KnaggsSherrill Knaggs, ISN Artist, created the digital photo to illustrate the story on this page. Sherrill lived in New Zealand. Her story was featured in ISN's book, Voices of Scleroderma Volume 2.

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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