Hi all. I'm a mother of 3, my youngest being only 18 months. My husband passed away last year, so as you can imagine, I'm freaking out about the possibility of leaving my babies with no parents. About 2 weeks ago, I went to my primary care doctor with the complaint of weird shooting pains that would jump around my body. She did a battery of blood tests and everything came back normal, except the nurse called to say that I was positive for a marker for systemic sclerosis and needed to see a rheumatologist to be further evaluated. My appointment with the rheumatologist isn't for another couple weeks and in the meantime, I've stupidly done a lot of googling on the subject. I've had creaky knees for as long as I can remember and the creak is very obviously coming from the patella tendon. I always chalked it up to arthritis, but after reading about tendon friction rubs, I have no doubt that's what it is, which is absolutely terrifying considering what that can mean. I get creaky sensations from time to time in my elbows and hands. Other than that, I've had GERD since my 2nd pregnancy 7 years ago, and high blood pressure that started in my first pregnancy 11 years ago and never went away. I don't think I have skin involvement, however I do have one knuckle that has thicker skin over it. It's been there for a couple years and I always assumed it was some kind of callus from crawling around with the kids. I also have an area of thickened skin over one ankle, but have read that sitting "Indian style" can cause a callus there, and sure enough, that's right where my ankle makes contact when I sit like that. Just in the last few weeks I've had a little bit of finger stiffness in the morning, but no swelling that I've noticed. I also get some prickly sensations in the skin on my hands and occasionally on my feet. I am absolutely beyond terrified, to the point that I'm hardly eating and some nights don't even fall asleep at all. I'm hesitant to ask my doctor for anything for anxiety or sleep because I'm still nursing my youngest. I cannot leave my babies. I can't. I am so scared and don't know what to do. All I can imagine is the worst case scenario. And all I've read about tendon friction rubs has made me sick. Is it possible to have the diffuse version, but not get it extremely bad? Any words of advice would be greatly appreciated.