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Ang: Morphea and Fibromyalgia

I just want to scream, "What are you looking at?"

Camellia for Ang by Sherrill Knaggs, ISN Artist I was diagnosed with morphea in February 2002, but had this for a year prior to that without knowing exactly what the diagnosis was. I went to my dermatologist in the very beginning, as I had this one place on my arm that looked red and almost like some sort of bug bite. The doctor prescribed various antihistamine creams that did not help. I had a history of severe urticaria on three prior occasions.

I received three cortisone injections but nothing helped. Then I started to get a very dark area on my neck like a suntan which had the feel of wrinkled leather. It then moved to my abdomen, hips, top of my hands, arms and eventually went to my legs.

My dermatologist sent me to a major medical center in my area. They have a dermatology conference once a week where medical students, pathologists, dermatologists, and professors do evaluations. They did a biopsy and this revealed generalized morphea.

I started treatment with methotrexate once a week. After six months, this seemed to be helping but in December, I started getting new spots on my legs and in March, new ones on my arms. The areas on the back of my upper legs look the worst. It appears as dark black spots with very white blotches mixed in. They increased my methotrexate, but after six weeks there was still no improvement. The doctor has asked me to consider Enbrel.

I am at a point where I do not know what to do. I read where one person stated she had been asked if her husband beat her. I have been asked the same. I have also been asked if I was burned, or gotten too much sun. Then there are the ones who say nothing and just stare at my neck. I just want to scream, "What are you looking at?" So finally I decide to tell them what is wrong and they say, "Oh, I did not even notice it." Duh!

Any remarks on Enbrel or any other medicines would be greatly appreciated. None of the creams have helped me.

I was also diagnosed about fifteen years ago with fibromyalgia and after multiple medicines, Zoloft seemed to help the most with Ambien for sleep. I am now up to 200mg of Zoloft in the mornings and 150mg of Wellbutrin in the afternoons. Currently I used Trazodone for sleep. I am also on 75mg of Toprol for a heart condition, and Maxzide, Allegra D, Pravachol, and Folic Acid because of the Methotrexate. I get so tired of taking meds.

I went through menopause early at the age of forty and since then seems like everything has been downhill.

Thanks for letting me ramble on. It is so good to tell people about it and get their responses.

To Contact the Author

Email withheld by request
Story posted 3-13-03

ISN Senior Artist: Sherrill Knaggs
ISN Story Editor: Saba Sadiq

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: Saba Sadiq

Saba SadiqSaba Sadiq is the ISN Story Editor for this story.

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