I am a thirty-eight-year-old woman living in South Australia, where there is a high incidence of morphea. I suspect I have had a localized form of this, on and off, on the lower front shin of one leg for ten years.
It may have started when I was heavily pregnant and I knocked my leg. It took eighteen months to resolve, and I felt feverish and unwell. It felt ten times worse than a bruised, raw feeling.A dermatologist diagnosed morphea after a biopsy, although at first she thought it was erythema nodosum (another skin condition).
Last year, I was wearing new hiking boots, which rubbed a spot on my ankle. The morphea became active again, and it went deep into my inner ankle.
I have been passed around among dermatologists and rheumatologists who now say I am developing rheumatoid arthritis in my right ankle and right hand. I feel these knocks and bruises, now turning into something more sinister, are related. I felt so unwell and feverish that I was wondering if it was hormonal, so I stopped taking the contraceptive pill three months ago. The nodule has gotten smaller and is spontaneously resolving. However, I am left with a deep ache in the ankle and in three fingers on my right hand.
I am finding it very hard to get anybody to listen to my thoughts and feelings, which I think are substantiated. Is there any evidence or information that morphea and arthritis are linked? I feel this is more deep-seated than a dermatologist can handle.
I am hoping to work with a professional and present them with any thoughts, feelings, and facts on the matter.
I feel for all of you and wonder if it took you as long to be diagnosed as it did for me.
Story posted 1-22-02
Story edited VH1: JTD 9-8-03
Story Artist: Shelley Ensz
Story Editor V1: Judith Devlin
Australian Support Groups
Pregnancy and Scleroderma
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