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Positive blood tests and tendon friction rubs

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Hi all. I'm a mother of 3, my youngest being only 18 months. My husband passed away last year, so as you can imagine, I'm freaking out about the possibility of leaving my babies with no parents.


About 2 weeks ago, I went to my primary care doctor with the complaint of weird shooting pains that would jump around my body. She did a battery of blood tests and everything came back normal, except the nurse called to say that I was positive for a marker for systemic sclerosis and needed to see a rheumatologist to be further evaluated. 


My appointment with the rheumatologist isn't for another couple weeks and in the meantime, I've stupidly done a lot of googling on the subject. I've had creaky knees for as long as I can remember and the creak is very obviously coming from the patella tendon. I always chalked it up to arthritis, but after reading about tendon friction rubs, I have no doubt that's what it is, which is absolutely terrifying considering what that can mean. I get creaky sensations from time to time in my elbows and hands.


Other than that, I've had GERD since my 2nd pregnancy 7 years ago, and high blood pressure that started in my first pregnancy 11 years ago and never went away. I don't think I have skin involvement, however I do have one knuckle that has thicker skin over it. It's been there for a couple years and I always assumed it was some kind of callus from crawling around with the kids. I also have an area of thickened skin over one ankle, but have read that sitting "Indian style" can cause a callus there, and sure enough, that's right where my ankle makes contact when I sit like that. 


Just in the last few weeks I've had a little bit of finger stiffness in the morning, but no swelling that I've noticed. I also get some prickly sensations in the skin on my hands and occasionally on my feet. 


I am absolutely beyond terrified, to the point that I'm hardly eating and some nights don't even fall asleep at all. I'm hesitant to ask my doctor for anything for anxiety or sleep because I'm still nursing my youngest. I cannot leave my babies. I can't. I am so scared and don't know what to do. All I can imagine is the worst case scenario. And all I've read about tendon friction rubs has made me sick.


Is it possible to have the diffuse version, but not get it extremely bad?


Any words of advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Hi Mamaof3,


Welcome to these forums!


I'm very sorry to hear that you've recently lost your husband and send my best wishes and condolences to you. I can understand how worried and concerned you're feeling about your health problems, especially with such a young family to consider.


Although the symptoms you describe could possibly relate to scleroderma, they could equally relate to any number of health problems, some of which may be serious or not. Please note that I have no medical training and so therefore it's not possible for me to hazard a guess as to the nature of your illness. Unfortunately googling your symptoms can be counter productive and can only cause you more worry and concern, so I would certainly not recommend that course of action (been there - done that! :wink:)


The only person that can really advise you is your rheumatologist and should he consider it necessary,  then we do suggest that you consult a listed scleroderma expert. Regarding the relevance of your blood tests, please see our sticky thread here.


Obviously some of the symptoms you're experiencing can be serious, but it's entirely possible that you may be jumping the gun and worrying unnecessarily; I do hope so. I would emphasise that at this stage it is almost impossible to guess your prognosis and although I realise that you are desperately seeking some sort of reassurance, I'm afraid you will have to wait until your rheumatologist's appointment for any further help and advice.


Please do post again and let us know how you get on with your appointment.


Kind regards,

Jo Frowde

ISN Board Member

ISN Secretary of the Board

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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