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Michelle D: Limited Scleroderma and CREST

It is possible to have a life with scleroderma.

Flowers for Michelle by Shelley Ensz I was sixteen and wanted to lose weight. I do not know if it was a reason for me getting the disease, but the doctor said it did not help. I just about quit eating to lose weight. I was rather heavy. I went from 200 pounds down to 114 pounds in just a little over six weeks. I thought I looked good, but my family felt differently.

I began to get very tired. I thought the lack of nutrition was the culprit. I also began to lose flexibility. I thought sitting on the couch was the reason. My family kept pleading with me to go to the doctor. Finally, about a year or so later, I went. I had a itchy line of dry skin across my belly. I was told it was just a form of fungus. I was told I needed to exercise more and that I just needed to eat better.

I was finally diagnosed a few months later. I could not hold down a job. I stayed dizzy and tired and sick. I was just too run down to make it through a day. Finally I was sent to a doctor who knew what I had and confirmed it with a blood test! You have to specifically be tested for scleroderma.

I was told of all the things that happen to people with scleroderma and I gave up. I waited to die. This was the hand dealt to me. One day I decided to get up and get moving. I started giving myself a bath and dressing myself again. I have been in remission for about eleven years now. My scleroderma is just external. My hands and my face are mildly affected. I did start eating again. I do work now.

The CREST part is little tiny red dots that appear on my hands and I have red blotches on my face and my nose is red. I have Raynaud's. My hands turn blue to purple and I am sensitive to cold. I also have the calcium deposits on my hands and arthritis, too.

I am doing fine now. I have learned to live with the few symptoms I have and remember that there are others worse than me. It is possible to have a life with scleroderma. However long we have, just make the best of it.

To Contact the Author

Michelle D.
New email address needed 12-20-06 SLE
Old Email Prefix: Thumper33D
Story posted 4-9-02 SLE
Calcium Deposits

ISN's Voices of Scleroderma Volume 2

The story on this page is featured in our book, Voices of Scleroderma Volume 2! ISN.

Go to Michelle H: Sister, Daughter and Friend of Scleroderma Patients
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In Loving Memory

Patricia Ann Black: Marilyn Currier, Shelley Ensz, Richard Howitt, Gerald and Pat Ivanejko, Juno Beach Condo Association, Keith and Rosalyn Miller, and Elaine Wible.
Gayle Hedlin: Daniel and Joann Pepper and Nancy Smithberg.
Janet Paulmenn: Anonymous, Mary Jo Austin, Shelley Blaser, Susan Book, Dennis and Pat Clayton, Grace Cunha, Cindy Dorio, Michael and Patricia Donahue, Shelley Ensz, Nancy Falkenhagen, Jo Frowde, Alice Gigl, Margaret Hollywood, Karen Khalaf and Family, Susan Kvarantan, Bradley Lawrence, Jillyan Little, Donna Madge, Michele Maxson, Barry and Judith McCabe, John Moffett, My Tribute Foundation, Joan-Marie Permison, John Roberts, Margaret Roof, Maryellen Ryan, Mayalin and Kiralee Murphy, Nancy Settle-Murphy, and Bruce and Elizabeth Winter.


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