It took four years and in 1995, I finally "KNEW" what was causing the flu-like symptoms that lasted for weeks, the vomiting, pain, fatigue, carpal tunnel, the full-flare of Psoriasis I was experiencing. (I was to learn that Scleroderma and Psoriasis are arch enemies of one another)...Yikes!
The word:S-C-L-E-R-O-D-E-R-M-A rang in my head, but I had no idea what it was, how long I would "have it", nor did I know what G-E-R-D or R-A-Y-N-A-U-D-S Phenomenon was.
At the onset, I thought Scleroderma was "just" Scleroderma...all the same for all who "caught it". I won't say I wasn't terrified, because until I learn about such things, I do not rest!
The various doctors I have seen (over the years) have had varied schools of thought about "which Scleroderma" I actually have! Factoring in the Psoriatic Psoriasis, it DOES make it difficult to determine, as my hands/fingers have been greatly changed. It also has been a contributor factor to my foot changes.
No wonder doctors have their hands full when any of us walk into their offices and expect or hope for answers to our various and oft-times, overlapping illness. Having a greater appreciation of what they do as "diagnosticians", I am aware of the challenges we present them and how awestruck they must often be. after all, they too, are human...just like us.
At my side, I have my best friend, who supports me in all avenues of my life. In September 2010, we will be married 24 years! Our family "inheritance" together totals 4 sons, 2 daughters, 12 grands and 6 great-grands, to date. Although I believe we have reached the "limit" of grands... the new marriage of a grandson and the upcoming marriage of the oldest grandson, their plans for children is imminent!
Hubby and I caregive my 84 year old mother in her home. We also have 2 toy poodles, Muff (13 1/2) and Peppy (3 1/2 aka Sass-a-frass) who are not at all spoiled ;)! They LOVE my mother, who loves them in return!
In the spring, summer and fall, I can often be found outdoors! Each year however, I find gardening more difficult and my lawnmowing has resulted into fulltime use of a riding lawnmower.
The winter months are a different story, however and I'm sure the majority of you are on board with me.
So, that's the long (and short) about me!