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Left leg swelling and SD

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My old account is not accessible. 


My question is I have swelling in both legs, but my left lower leg is much worse.  I have had a 2 year history of this, when I went to the Rheumatologist 2 years ago, she sent me for a blood clot test and it came back negative.  I do eat a lot of salt.  But I am wondering if the leg swelling is due to SD or my lung fibrosis.


I had a CAT scan of the lungs and they found some water around the heart, I did not follow up as my doctor gave me the boot as I was not able to make my appointments.  I have a hard time leaving the house, due to severe anxiety problems.

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Hi Ronald,


How lovely to hear from you again, although I'm sorry that you're experiencing worrying symptoms.


I've sent you a PM regarding your previous Sclero Forums account.


Please bear in mind that I'm not a doctor (my medical knowledge consists of an out of date first aid certificate), but I would hazard a guess that the leg swelling could be due in part to the water around your heart and also it's possible that a diet which is high in salt is not helping the situation.


I would recommend that you go back to your doctor, as any symptoms concerning your lungs and heart could possibly be serious. I understand that your anxiety problems are making that course of action difficult, so perhaps you should think about dealing with that as a priority.  Anxiety is a symptom that needs to be addressed and minimized when one is dealing with a chronic illness such as scleroderma and as it's perfectly normal to experience depression and anxiety along with illness, it may be beneficial for you to ask your primary care doctor for a referral for counselling if you're finding that your health issues are difficult to deal with.


Kind regards,

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Ronald,


Please bear in mind that I'm neither a medical nor psychiatric professional of any sort.  So all I can give you is my layperson's understanding.


As I understand it, anxiety so severe that we are unable to leave the house is usually called agoraphobia. Perhaps you could read up about that, and if the shoe fits, see if you can find treatment for it, as it is a very treatable problem. The most amazing thing is that we don't need to bother getting over fear.  It's okay for the fear to remain.


Agoraphobia usually develops as a side-effect of panic attacks, although I had a friend who developed it as a side-effect of asthma attacks (because she and her doctors mistook her asthma for a panic attack for many years.)


Your doctor might figure that if you were able to get out of the house for the tests, you should be able to get out of the house to hear the results.  However, as a patient myself, I see a difference here because test results are more daunting for most of us, than the tests themselves. Thus, it would make sense to suffer more anxiety over that.  But, as Jo points out, you can't resolve a significant health problem without going to the doctor.  So, first up for you is figuring out a first step, that you can take today, for treating anxiety.  Since you're inside the house, that would probably be a phone call.


Who can you call?  Do you have a counselor or psychiatrist?  If so, start by calling them right this minute. If not, then start figuring out how to find one by tomorrow.  Don't worry about the whole thing of needing to leave the house to see them.  They should understand the hurdle of that.  At least, you'd think so, right?


Please let us know how this goes.  We'll be here for you, and we'll be rooting for you! 



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  • 6 months later...

I also have had foot and leg swelling for about 2 years - more left then right.  When I do not have pain my skin on my legs feel like they are about to rip and are tight feeling.  The swelling goes down overnight but not completely.  Diuretics started 2 weeks ago help some, but not much.   I am battling to have someone believe that it is not related to a blood clot or varicose veins - Won't give up though. 


Is there anything you can do that helps you get out of the house or a relative or friend who makes you feel more at ease outside ?  If you have no one, try getting in touch with a Volunteer Office or Organization, they sometimes will accompany people to appointments and explain to your doctor about your condition and what steps you have taken to sort out the missed appointments.


Hope you will give a sign that you still at least read the posts on this forum.  And I hope you have started some sort of treatment by now.

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