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Penelope: CREST Scleroderma

Italy

Peach Flower by Shelley EnszHello everyone. I am a twenty-six-year-old girl who suffers from CREST scleroderma. I have decided to tell you my story in order to give some reassurance to all patients that have this illness, and also to give them some tips to live their lives to the fullest.

My story begins about two years ago. I was very stressed by my studies, work and certain people around me, and I began feeling the first symptoms that are common among those who have scleroderma. I was tired, my joints ached, and my hands turned different colors. I was worried about this, since it got worse and progressed, so I interned myself at the “"Policlinico di Palermo” hospital, where, after many tests they diagnosed me with it.

Initially I must confess I reacted badly because, and I am not ashamed to say it, I am a very beautiful person, both physically and on the inside, and I dedicate a lot of time to healing my body. I felt like I was crumbling, that everything was against me, that God wanted to punish me for my degree in Economics that I had obtained in record time, my great career in finances, and just overall a great style that so attracted people. But then I realized that if I let myself down, the illness would progress and get worse even further.

So I began my new life. I followed the doctor's orders to the dot, vasodilators, intravenous meds, iloprost and calcium inhibitors in the evening. For my face I used, and still do, super hydrating creams with oils. Physiotherapy and massages have helped a lot.

My advice to everyone would be to believe in yourselves, perhaps you cannot prevent the illness, but you can live normally. It is possible to combat it, and I am living proof of it. The only problem I still have sometimes is the variation in the colour of my hands, but with these cures and thermal gloves everything is good.

Be strong and you'll defeat it.

To Contact the Author

Penelope
Email: [email protected]
Story edited 07-14-09 JTD
Story posted 07-18-09 SLE

Story Artist: Shelley Ensz
Story Translator: Alba León
Story Editor: Judith Thompson Devlin
LINKS
Italian:
Penelope: Sclerodermia CREST
Cos'è la Sclerodermia
Raynaud
Raynaud Storie di Pazienti
Tipi di Sclerodermia: Limitata
Tipi di Sclerodermia: Limitata Storie

English:
CREST Syndrome
CREST Syndrome Stories
Raynaud's
Raynaud's Stories
Medical: Diseases and Symptoms
Scleroderma Experts (Worldwide)
Sclero Forums
Symptoms of Systemic Scleroderma
Types of Scleroderma
What is Scleroderma?

ISN Translator and Editor: Alba León

Alba LeonAlba León is the ISN Translator for this page. She is studying international relations in Mexico City.

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!

Go to Peter: Burn Survivor with Scleroderma
 
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Patricia Ann Black: Marilyn Currier, Shelley Ensz, Richard Howitt, Gerald and Pat Ivanejko, Juno Beach Condo Association, Keith and Rosalyn Miller, and Elaine Wible.
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