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Hi everyone,

My name is Linda, I'm 59 years old and I'm very glad Ito have found this site!


I haven't been diagnosed with scleroderma(yet). Had blood tests which were negative but my rheumatologist says that we should wait and see if more clinical signs develop. I have however, been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, CFS and have major soft tissue swelling. Since I was a child I've had circulation problems ranging from chilblains and minor frostbite to Raynauds which I still have. I'm on Norvasc twice daily for that and it really helps. I don't have hard skin, but I do have what I believe is a mild (if there is such a thing) case of Sclero developing. Lots of vertical deep lines around my lips, both top and bottom. The bottom lip also swells frequently. My face feels tigh and sometimes throbs, but I can't see any major changes. My hands, wrists, arms, shoulders and just about every joint, mustle, tendon and ligament in my body hurts like crazy! My hands are red, swollen and tingly in the morning. My ankles are a little swollen in the morning also. Whoops, almost forgot--I don't sleep much at nigh(wake up every couple of hours or so),and have Restless Leg Syndrome and Periodlic Limb Movement Disorder. I had a sleep study done and they recorded 153 limb movements and I woke up 17 times during the 7 hour study!


I work a full time job as a bookkeeper at a school, and have a part time pet sitting business. I'm so exhaused from the constant pain. I'm trying to get the pet sitting business going so I can do that and get my pension from the school.


I try to have a good attitude, but boy it's getting real hard to stay happy!!


Well, that's it for now. I'm very glad to be here!!


Love ya,



Norvasc for Raynaud's; Atenolol for HBP; Hctz for HBP; Mirapex and Tizanadine for RLS; Cymbalta for depression; Meloxicam-anti-inflammatory;

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Hi Linda,


Sorry to hear you are having such a hard time. I am 43 and was just told on August 22,2006 that I have Diffuse Scleroderma. Yes it was very scary but I have a good support group and meet people with all types of sclero. I to have every joint that hurts,muscle and tendens. I also get pressure in my face. My face has already started to tighten along with my hands wrist, forarms.feet and ankles. What is wierd is that they still can swell up. Just like you said the mornings are the worst for me with my hands and feet. My face will swell too but not as often as my feet and hands. Don't get me wrong Iam not trying to tell you that you have sclero. I really hope that you don't. But there is alot of help out there for you emotionally. You should check to see if there is a support group close to you it will be a great comfort and they can answer just about any question you maight have.





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Hi Linda,


Welcome to the Forums! I am so glad you found us, but sorry it is because of your symptoms. What you describe sounds a lot like how I felt when all of this started for me 5 years ago. My rheumatologist has diagnosed me with Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease because I don't clearly fit into any one disease. He has told me things like, "Your disease has been all over the place" and "You will most likely end up looking like a limited scleroderma patient". Luckily, regardless of the diagnosis, he has always treated my symptoms appropriately and I feel so much better now then 5 years ago.


I do hope you get some answers and some relief! Even if your rheumatologist isn't ready to give you a definitive diagnosis, make sure that he/she does provide you with the appropriate treatment to get your symptoms under control.


I hope you will come here and post often. Again, welcome!


Warm wishes,


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Pauline & Heidi-thanks for your warm replies. It's rough when you're not sure what you might have, or when you get the incorrect diagnosis. It's people like yourselves and places like this forum that keep us going and give us the strength to make it through the day (and to the weekend!).


Warm hugs,



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Hello Linda,


I just want to say welcome and let you know that you are not alone in having difficulty with your sleep. I stopped sleeping properly two years ago. I have severe problems with my breathing, chest pain, vascular and neurological problems. I too have raynauds that happens even in a warm room. I never feel that wonderful cozy tired feeling like I used to. The area from the sinuses right down to the diaphragm is a major thoroughfare for the body and this is where I experience so much distress. I cannot experience any comfort at all.


I wish you every success with your pet sitting business. Animals are a special gift. I have two coordinating cats as I call them--tabbies--named Merlin and Merry. When I was still healthy and mobile living a normal life, my kids and I use to take them on their leashes(little harness kind) and walk them down the street. They walked just like dogs and many people were suprised to see that cats would walk on a leash.


Believe it or not, I have my one kitty, Merry, sitting next to me right now in a baby bouncer. Yes, a baby bouncer. I bought it several years ago from a garage sale. It is a little joke of mine, when Merlin gets in it to say: "Don't worry Merlin I won't tell the big tom cats outside that you have a baby bouncer!"


Anyways Linda, I know that pets are such a joy so I hope that I can share a few stories with you along the way.





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