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Sorry I've been absent!

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I just found y'all and then I disappeared! So sorry! I had spine surgery 6 weeks ago and while I was in hospital, my son was using my laptop and lost a bunch of my links, sigh. Computer and spine are mostly better now with just some smallish after-effects!


The good news is that the spine surgery took care of my problematic groin pain that my other doctors thought was coming from the hip. I have a benign tumor and labral tear in one of my hips we thought would have to be operated on in Dallas. Now that I know it's not the cause of that pain, I don't see any need to do yet another surgery. So yay for that improvement!


But the spine surgery stirred up my autoimmune baddies and we're trying to sort out what is post op. stuff and what is autoimmune. My hands are just a mess. The skin on my fingers is splitting and cracking, I have red spots and dry, thickened patches spreading, and my nails are always lined and broken. Are there any creams I can easily buy that help or do I need to see a dermatologist? The rheumatologist hasn't arrived here yet.


Also, do any of y'all have bad nerve pain in your feet/toes and hands/fingers? My feet/toes are the worst. My surgeon today said that some of the nerve pain in my feet could be from the surgery and it will resolve on its own as the healing progresses. However, since I also have the pain in my hands, he thinks at least part of the pain in my feet is autoimmune.


The tops of my feet right before the first toe joints are so, so painful -- it hurts to the touch and shoots into my toes, and vice-versa. Wearing shoes is very uncomfortable -- I'm wearing just the softest slippers or going barefoot around the house. I have a call into my internist but any suggestions in the meantime?


Thanks so much!




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Hi Julia,


How very nice to hear from you again!


I'm very pleased to hear that your spine surgery was successful. It's always good to eliminate at least one cause of a problem, even though it means that something else raises it's ugly head!!


I've found you a link on Xerosis (dry skin) which includes advice on dealing with dry sore skin and I hope you'll find it useful.


I do suffer with painful joints but I don't think it's caused by nerve pain in my hands and feet, so I can't advise you from my own experience; however, I know that many of our other members do have this problem and hopefully they will be able to give you some more first hand advice.


Now that your computer is recovering nicely as well, do please post again and don't be a stranger!! :)


Kind regards,

Jo Frowde

ISN Board Member

ISN Assistant Webmaster

SD World Webmaster

ISN Sclero Forums Manager

ISN News Manager

ISN Hotline Support Specialist

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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Welcome back, Julie! I'm really glad that your spinal surgery was so helpful that you can now avoid another surgery.


From personal experience with other matters, I'd just caution that if you are on pain medications to deal with after-surgery pain, you might find your pain returns when the meds stop. Here's hoping that's not the case in your situation.


Some of us are prone to exacerbations after surgery or infections, because it can topple our delicate immune systems for awhile. So be sure to eat nutritiously, rest, and avoid as much stress as you can while you recover. Raynaud's and/or skin involvement might be contributing to your symptoms now, but please bear in mind that I'm not a doctor and have no medical training at all. Here are some warm hugs to tide you over.



Warm Hugs,


Shelley Ensz

Founder and President

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099


The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

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Thank you, Jo and Shelley!


I've got some doctor appointments coming up. I'm planning a trip to England to visit dear friends in September. I'll be there for a month so my doctors all want to see me and run tests before I go. We want to get things stabilized as much as possible before my trip.


I just picked up some tea tree and shea butter lotion at an organic products store where I shop. I hope it helps my hands and skin!


All best,


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