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Hi I thought it was about time I said hello as I have been hanging around for a few days reading and taking in the information.

 

I have been diagnosed with localized scleroderma. It all started after the worse flu I have ever had that was 15 weeks ago and a hard lump of skin formed along with a redness on the right side of my upper body. Went to see a consultant at the Dermatology department in Plymouth and he said I had localized scleroderma and after a number of blood tests they thought I had a liver diease as well but after a number of tests and scans it has cleared up, in fact it was the antibiotics my doctor put me on to start with that triggered the liver function tests.

 

Well went back to the consultant last week and he has put me on steroids (medrone), he has put me on a low dose to start with as he isn't sure something else isn't going on as well inside. I have had chronic fatigue from the very start and I'm in constant pain now in my upper body and if I'm out walking I'm out of breath quite easily. Is this normal with localized scleroderma?

 

Hopefully speak soon,

 

chris

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I thought I would add that I still need to find out what kind of Morphea it is that I have. Does anyone know what further tests/time taken to find out this sort of info? It all has seemed slow moving, and a roller coaster ride in one!

 

I have also read that most/if not all of you are under the care of a rhuematologist, I am still under a Dermatologist. Will this change?

 

Many thanks in advance of any readings/replies.

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Hello Chris

 

Welcome to the forums and your new disagnosis. We have a lot of information on site about localised scleroderma, also known as morphea.

 

About 25% of people with morphea also have a non skin symptom such as fatigue and about 4% can have two non skin symptoms like say fatigue and reflux. It doesn't mean you have or will develop the systemic form of the disease in fact only 2% or less of people with morphea develop the systemic form so there's a 98% chance you won't.

 

Take care and keep posting.

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Thanks for taking the time out to reply Amanda. I really appreciate it. I have found researching my problem very confusing. Thanks for those statistics, which help to put it into a little more perspective for me. It's so easy to let doom and gloom envelope you during the diagnoses.

 

On the plus side, I am taking the opportunity whilst on sick leave from a very physical job to improve my qualifications to get a physically less demanding job. Down, but certainly not out!

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Did I hear my name? Welcome to our Forums Chris. "Doom and Gloom" I am the Doom not sure whom might be the Gloom.

Many of us with Scleroderma do try to find a Rheumatologist that specializes in Scleroderma. So, if you get a chance to ask around before making an appointment with just any rheumatologist that would be a good idea. Many doctor's still don't know about all the treatments available to those of us with this intriguing illness. Keep researching and asking questions as often as possible to educate yourself and become more familiar with this disease.

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Hi Chris,

 

Welcome to the Forum! We've got lots of members with Morphea, so hopefully a few of them will see your post and chime in. You can also look in the Personal Stories about Morphea in the main ISN site.

 

Good on you for using your sick leave so wisely! I'll keep my fingers crossed that when you go back to work you can move into the job you want.

 

I nearly asked "Which Plymouth?" and then the brain kicked in and said it had to be the original one since you posted in the UK forum. :lol:

 

Best wishes,

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  • 3 months later...

Hi guys sorry not posted for a while!! Well be back to hospital for a few scans had a biopsy and MRI scan the biopsy showed up what my dermatologist consultant thought morphoea and the MRI scan showed nothing.I was sent for a MRI as they thought I have nerve damage to my upper body as I'm in constant pain and nothing seems to be improving with medication.

 

I'm finding it difficult to drive now because of the pain and last Monday I had to have a appointment with Occupational Health and took me until Sunday to get over the 70 mile round trip. Talking of the Occupational Health visit which went very well it's such a relief to be able to speak to someone who knows all about the illness and has been able to get this message over to my employers who are to have a meeting about me this week to discuss my future or lack of it and looks like they will medically retire me.

 

My dermatologist consultant is at a total loss what is causing my upper body pain so taken matters into my own hand and asked for a referral to see a rheumatologist and hope if they can't help they might be able to get me to see a specialist as it seems we are out on a limb down here in Devon.

 

Will keep you guys informed when I hear back from my employers.

 

Onwards and upwards,

 

chris

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Hello Chris

 

Should you get ill heath retirement I suspect you will find it a great relief, I certainly did. The pressure to have to try to work when you know you can't will be over. I'm amazed that your Occupational Health knew about scleroderma, what a relief that must have been.

 

Most definitely get a referral to a rheumatologist and you may want to take the opportunity to get a referral to a scleroderma expert. I always recommend the Royal Free because it's a centre of excellence for scleroderma and I'm a patient there myself.

 

Take care and keep posting.

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Hi Amanda,

 

You're not wrong; it was such a relief when he started talking about Scleroderma. It's really the first medical person I have spoken to that was able to have a proper talk about the conditions and living with the illness. He must have done his homework.

 

He also made it aware to me that finding a specialist down here wasn't going to happen so I was expecting it will take a trip to London

 

Thanks for your support this site is great for helping everyone out.

 

Chris

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Hi Chris

 

I got IHR from my job due to having Limited Scleroderma among other problems and I found that my general health did slowly improve a bit just because I didn't have the stress from the job or an unsympathetic employer. Stress can make things worse.

 

Hope the meeting goes well for you.

 

 

Best Wishes

 

Buttons

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Hello Chris

 

I didn't realise that you think your employer may resist retiring you on ill health grounds. That being the case you might want to consider getting prepared for the meeting, consider taking someone in with you whether a union representative or welfare officer. Have you had your copy of the report from Occupational Health? If not make sure you have it prior to the meeting so you know what your employer has been told.

 

I assume that your employer has some sort of fit for work policy, as mine did, and that the point of the policy is to determine whether a person can continue to work with any reasonable help (scleroderma is likely to be covered by the disability discrimination act) and if not...well to let them go because they have and will continue to have too much sick leave.

 

When I applied for ill health retirement it took 8 months for me to get a decision and it was a very, very long wait. If it had been no I would have been devastated having worked for the same employer for 20 years. As it was I was able to brag about being a pensioner at the age of 40 and I do hope you are able to join our exclusive club.

 

Take care.

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