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Margaret

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  1. Good morning, the same thing happened with my son and his blood work. If you read many of the threads throughout the forum, there are people with full blown scleroderma symptoms and negative blood work and visa versa. Many times, it will depend on the lab where the blood is sent. Gareth has had 3 + anti-RNA 111 from one lab in Ca, but it was negative from the lab the specialist uses. The important thing is being treated for the symptoms, which you said you were. Gareth's original doctors said sine scleroderma but the specialist says UCTD. Either way, he's being treating for the symptoms and both diseases can cause extensive medical issues. Take care, everyone. Margaret Mom to Gareth, 30 years old, DS/ASD
  2. Margaret

    Blood Results and Worried!

    Hi Cathy & Phyllis I want to add that having UCTD (Undifferentiated connective tissue disease) is no less severe than having CREST or scleroderma. The hardening inside may flare up at anytime and cause issues. Gareth's esophagus looks like a twisted curly straw and needs stretching when the swallowing becomes too hard and food sticks there. When he needed surgery to repair his neck (he needed a *ladder* installed to repair degenerative arthritis) it took the surgeon an extra 3 hrs to chisel through the *wood* encircling his trachea, esophagus, and carotid artery. The internal changes aren't apparent till a doctor gets in there to work!!! I know it's easy to say, but try to stay optimistic and trudge through the flares should one arise. Take care, Everyone, Margaret
  3. Margaret

    Blood Results and Worried!

    Hi Phyllis, Welcome to the forum and sorry to hear of your positive blood work, along with various symptoms. I can only speak for myself, when my son was diagnosed, but most readings on the web were very depressing and negative. I assumed he would die within a few years and that was 12 years ago, this month! There are many others on this forum who have had it for 20, 30+ years. Gareth had all the positive blood works, too, but only had internal issues - esophageal dismotility being the culprit that brought on the blood tests. He's been on Plaquenil for 12 years and is doing pretty good, with only occasional issues. Stress can play a factor in the disease, too, so try to keep that in mind. Take care, everyone. Margaret Mom to Gareth, 30 years old, DS/ASD
  4. Margaret

    No symptoms ANA and ACA positive

    Hi, I had Gareth in to Pittsburgh, too!! He saw Dr Metzger. He said that because he had no skin issues, Raynauld's, or capillary damage that it wasn't sine scleroderma, but UCTD, even though he had the + blood work for scleroderma. I've learned through the years that they treat the symptoms; not worrying about the *name*. Gareth's issues have always been internal. We're in State College, Pa. Take care, everyone. Margaret
  5. Margaret

    Lab Results

    Hi Tracy, Gareth had a + ANA (speckled pattern) and + anti-RNA Polymerase 1/111. His initial diagnosis of sine scleroderma was changed to UCTD (Undifferentiated connective tissue disease) by the scleroderma specialist. It's still autoimmune issues - just a different name. Margaret
  6. Margaret

    No symptoms ANA and ACA positive

    Hi Edolye, My son was diagnosis'd, at age 18, with sine scleroderma because of positive blood work, esophageal dismotility, extreme fatigue, major depression, and chostrochondritis. The specialist said he had Undifferentiated Connective tissue disease (UCTD) and he was placed on Plaquenil, which really helped with his symptoms and fatigue issues. My concern for your daughter is her shoulder and knee pain - have they X-rayed her neck? We found out, at age 27, that Gareth also had degenerative arthritis and his vertebrae between C3/4 - CC7/8 had disintegrated and was pressing on his spinal cord. He was pretty much wheelchair bound for any sort of walking distances and no doctor even thought to x-ray his neck! It happened because I asked my primary care physician to order the X-ray of the neck to rule out C1/2 instability, found in kids with Down's Syndrome (DS). I have learned a lot over the past 12 years and one major factor is that autoimmune diseases have a mind of their own and don't follow the rules and guidelines they're thrown in to by doctors!!! Treat the symptoms your daughter does have now and be an advocate for *off the wall* ideas/problems. Take care, everyone, Margaret Mom to Gareth, 30 years old, DS/ASD
  7. Margaret

    Jo Frowde Promoted to ISN Secretary of the Board

    Congratulations, Jo. This site is such an asset to so many people and your information is always appreciated and very valuable to so many. Margaret
  8. Margaret

    Raynaud and ANA Positive

    Hi Creleon Welcome to the forums and thank you for being such a caring, big sister. I joined 12 years ago when my son was diagnosed at age 18 and read it's a disease *that turns you to stone*. I thought my son would die an early, painful death. The internet is full of horror stories so be sure to rely on a good doctor and the prescribe treatments. My son is doing quite well and each road bump is treated or taken care of. There are medications these days that make life easier. Take care, everyone. Margaret Mom to Gareth, 30 years old, DS/ASD
  9. Hi Everyone, I just wanted to share with everyone that Gareth has been so healthy, for over a year now, that I'm waiting for the *time bomb* to drop!!! He was sick on Wednesday the day of his IVIg treatment. We went in for the treatment but because of his gut ache, we walked out and over to the primary care physician. Well, because of his extensive medical background, they always run a series of blood work on him. Everything came back normal...CBC, liver, and chem panels...all normal!!! Doctor said it was just a viral bug going around and the next day he was fine and happy. Take care, everyone. Margaret Mom to Gareth, 30 years old, DS/ASD
  10. Margaret

    Sine Scleroderma

    Hi Beckybee; welcome to the forums. My son was initially diagnosed with sine scleroderma, but that was changed to Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease ( UCTD) by the Sclero specialist. He had positive blood work and internal involvement, but no skin, Raynaud's or capillary involvement. His main problems were his vocal cords, esophagus, diaphragm/lungs and major fatigue. He was put on plaquenil and has been on that for eleven years now, with no problems. Take care, everyone. Margaret Mom to Gareth, 30 years old, DS/ASD
  11. Hi TGK You sound so much like Gareth when he was initially diagnosis'd, at age 18 - UCTD with + scleroderma blood work. He also has immune deficiencies and if you haven't been tested for that, I would strongly suggest it due to the recurring fevers. He has no IGg 2/4, plus a MBL deficiency - both needed to fight bacterial infections. It's one of those *did the chicken come before the egg?* scenarios. He had always been a sickly kid, but did the immune deficiency cause the autoimmune disease? Anyway, he gets IV Ig infusions every 4 weeks to stay healthy. Take care, everyone. Margaret Mom to Gareth, 30 years old, DS/ASD
  12. Hi TGK, I have gone through Gareth's blood work and don't find that specific test. He did have blood work for Fibrinogen levels, when first diagnosis'd, and it was marked High. I'm never sure of what each specific test indicates when High or positive - meaning does high fibrinogen levels always indicate high fibrinogen in all parts of the body? When he had his neck repaired (plate put in for degenerative arthritis - Oct '15) the doctor had to add 3 hrs to the surgery just to chisel away the mess in his throat. He said his carotid artery, esophagus, and airway had congealed into a solid mass that was like chiseling through wood. I'm assuming that is from too much fibrinogen? If you find the answers, please, share with all of us. Take care, everyone, Margaret Mom to Gareth, 30 years old, DS/ASD
  13. Margaret

    My biggest fear.

    Hi everyone - at first, I felt I didn't need to respond to this thread but Heather's post got me rethinking. Heather - I totally understand your fear of dying before your daughter, as it is my biggest fear, too. Gareth is the reason I joined this site back in 2008, when he was first diagnosed with UCTD and very ill. Gareth has Down's syndrome and autism, besides a host of medical issues that keeps me on my toes. No one, but me (MOM) , can care enough for him or understand his speech/ feelings/pain/etc. I've always joked that I am ready to die any day - as long as Gareth is with me. He did move into a group home several years ago (his choice) but to this day, I still take charge of all doctor appointments and medical issues. If he's hurting or feeling off, he calls me to come get him!! Staff is totally supportive and understands. Sometimes, he *milks it* for all it's worth, but I don't mind. Take care, everyone, Margaret Mom to Gareth, 30 years old, DS/ASD
  14. Hi Jo - wow - I have lots of reading to catch up on. Like the tele-conference last year, they are finding out that so much of the autoimmune diseases are intertwined with the immune system/deficiencies. Thank you, for taking the time to compile all this together. Take care, Everyone. Margaret Mom to Gareth, 29 years old, DS/ASD
  15. Morning Allyson, When Gareth was first diagnosed at age 18, his complaints were his esophagus, major fatigue, and chest/voice. His pediatric gastro doctor is the one who ordered the Sclero panel for blood work when his food swallowing study showed his esophagus was hardened. He only had internal issues with his esophagus, vocal cords, diaphragm and the doctor called it sine scleroderma. The Scleroderma specialist, in Pittsburgh, said it was Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease (UCTD) because he had no skin issues, capillary damage, or Raynaud's. UCTD can be just as damaging as scleroderma, although I don't understand what the difference is between it and sine scleroderma. He was placed on Plaquenil 6 months after initial diagnosis and, after about 3 months, he told me his *food tube* was working again. The fact that he was male, 18 years old, and had no other CREST symptoms, threw everyone off. Over the past 11 years, he has developed degenerative arthritis and needed surgery for that in his neck. He is showing signs of progressive disease, so we are watching that closely. He needs his esophagus stretched every 12-18 months and the doctor says it looks like a silly, curly straw because it's so contorted by the hardening. He does have asthma; not sure if that is from the diaphragm issues (Chostrocondritis) or not. When he does talk, he stutters badly and that is probably from the initial hardening of the vocal cords. I am constantly telling him to *take a deep breath* so he can talk without stuttering so badly. Internal hardening around the gallbladder caused that to flare up and it was removed. Blood work - has your daughter been tested for immune deficiencies? Some doctors are finding a correlation between autoimmune and immune deficiencies. Gareth falls into that category, too. At age 20, we found out he has Mannose-binding lectin (MBL) deficiency and IG 2/4 deficiencies, thus the inability to fight bacterial infections. He had always been a sickly kid but was never tested. I always wonder if the immune deficiencies led to the autoimmune issues, but his grandfather had rheumatoid arthritis, so that shoots that idea down! He started receiving Gamma globulin infusions shortly after diagnosis and continues to this day, every 4 weeks, religiously. He had a Power Port installed last year because his veins are shot in his arms, again - autoimmune related or immune related? We take each event as it comes and he gets patched up and sent on his way. He has a fantastic group of specialists and nurses at the local hospital know us well!!! Our bodies are a very complicated piece of machinery that is so finely tuned; once it gets out of whack, anything can go wrong. I realize dealing with a 5 years old child is completely different that an 18 years old, but I hope she gets the best of care with considerate doctors. You're in my thoughts. Take care, everyone. Margaret
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