About two years ago I went to a rheumatologist because I had some problems in my legs and hands. My legs would become really tense and my hands would turn purple without apparent reason. When I went to the doctor, he sent me to get a series of analysis to rule out lupus or other similar illnesses.
My great mistake was not taking these tests seriously. I got them done, but I didn't go back to the doctor since I was already feeling better and the pain and swelling had almost disappeared.
Yesterday, after two years I went back to the doctor, I told him I cannot open my mouth completely, I have lost strength in my hands, I have breathing problems, my face looks different, my skin is really tight and I have lost my appetite. He ordered a new set of analysis, but this time it is only to see how advanced my scleroderma is.
I am not scared by the illness in itself, however I am worried because the medicine for this illness in my country, Perú, are, unfortunately, only given to those people with insurance from the Peruvian state. I can no longer sign up for this health care system as the registry is completely closed, and so I cannot have the adequate treatment for my illness since, as I repeat, this medicine is only given to the Peruvian health care system and it is not sold in any pharmacy in my country.
Story edited 04-25-08 JTD
Story posted 11-14-08 SLE
Story Artist: Shelley Ensz
Story Translator: Alba León
Story Editor: Judith Thompson Devlin
Alana: Paciente Nuevo con Esclerodermia
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Alba León is the ISN Translator for this page. She is studying international relations in Mexico City.
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