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Fed up with it all.

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Hey guys. I don't post very often but I feel like I have to. I'm young. I'm only 24. I have Limited SSc. I have kids. I want to go to college VERY badly. Is Scleroderma so rare that not a single person out there has heard of a scholarship fund for us? I'm going crazy staying at home all day. I want to do more with myself.

I've heard of scholarships for people that are simply left-handed! I feel broken-handed most of the time. Is it that I'd be a poor investment since I might get a lot sicker? Does anyone know of someone or something that can help me? I feel so so depressed. My body has become my prison and my doctors think I'm fine. I can't even open my fingers all the way and they say I "show no signs" of sclero besides the blood work.


What am I supposed to do?


I enrolled at a state college before my diagnosis and actually tested out of all the first-year math classes they provided. I was first-chair flute player all through high school. Now I can hardly hold the thing.


I have spent all day searching and enrolling with the scholarship programs on the internet, including the ones provided through this site.


My fingers feel like popsicles. My wrists and forearms ache. My whole body aches.

I feel like nobody believes in me. I feel like the only thing the sclero hasn't taken from me is my children. My daughter is my only biological child. The acleroderma started after my pregnancy.


Is that IT? Am I 24 and already a complete "has-been"? With stories about what I USED to be? Drowning in housework, with nothing to use my brain on. Can't anybody help?



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ChefKat, I am sorry your situation has become so frustrating. I think it must be particularly hard for those of you who are young and just getting started with all life has to offer to be hit with a new set of stumbling blocks. There are several members on site who HAVE managed to get through college in spite of the difficulties. Financial issues are a problem with many people, with and without scleroderma, but if you want something bad enough, there is usually a way to get it. I wish you luck with your search for scholarships and aid and hope the resources listed on the site will pan out for you.


In the meantime, try to keep yourself from stressing out too much, which is obviously not good. Some of us have found help in our page on Emotional Adjustment and Scleroderma page. You are not a has been. I hope that you will find support from others who have been through similar challenges. Big hugs to you.

Warm wishes,



Carrie Maddoux

(Retired)ISN Sclero Forums Support Specialist

(Retired)ISN Sclero Forums UK Chat Host

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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Hi ChefKat,


I don't think you should give up on your dream after only one day of looking for scholarships online. Nobody with scleroderma is a has-been! Try looking for "arthritis" scholarships, single-parent scholarships, and for those for what you plan on majoring in (because scleroderma is a form of arthritis.) Scleroderma is very rare; most people have not heard of it; and what very slim funding there is for it is usually devoted to absolutely vital research and support services. So look for broader search topics than that.


You say you are going crazy staying home all day. Why not get a job in a field you are interested in? Even a part-time job would get you out of the house, around other adults, while you are looking at college possibilities. It is possible to have an abundant and happy life even with scleroderma.


Besides, many young at-home mothers feel like climbing the walls after awhile. You are not alone and it doesn't make you a bad mother. It drove me almost entirely bonkers, and a job, plus eventually part-time night classes at the university, was just what I needed. Even volunteer work would have been a blessing to me then...anything to get out of the house, and around adults!!

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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Hello Chefkat


You sound determined, focused and mature enough to achieve what you want once you figure out specifically what that is.


You're a parent at 24, everything else will be a doddle! :)


You're no way a has been more like a not yet been but most definitely will be...whatever you decide upon.


Sclero makes you determined and this can only be a good thing...you go girl! :lol:


Take care.



Amanda Thorpe

ISN Sclero Forums Senior Support Specialist

ISN Video Presentations Manager

ISN Blogger

(Retired) ISN Sclero Forums Assistant Manager

(Retired) ISN Email Support Specialist

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)

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If your doctor thinks Sclero doesn't cause pain I think you need to find another doctor. Good grief even my cardiologist once told me that its normal for finger joints to hurt because of how CREST affects collagen and causes inflammation.


Have you talked to a doctor before about treating the pain and problems with using your hands? Things like NSAIDS might help, and possibly physical therapy and even the hot paraffin hand treatments.


As for scholarships... have you talked with Vocational Rehab as they sometimes help pay for sickies to go to college. I think it requires diagnosis of two different chronic illness to get in the program. I got into the brain injury program and they did offer at one time to pay for college courses for me well until my doctors decided I am too disabled to be working and need to apply for Social Security Disability.

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My heart goes out to you. Don't settle for less than at least part of a goal or dream. Look into scholarships, find a social worker that could possibly help you out. Sometimes admission councilors at colleges can help you find a financial solution. Make an appointment with one and see what happens. The worst that could happen is you might have to talk to a couple more.


With gentle thoughts.



A happy heart is good medicine.

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I feel your pain and frustration at wanting to do so much yet having to deal with barriers and obstacles. Hopefully a couple of the applications you completed will pan out. Keep applying for as many scholarships as you possibly can. Unfortunately I haven't heard of a scleroderma scholarship but there has to be scholarships for autoimmune illnesses, which is a disability.


You are dealing with being a young mother and having scleroderma symptoms. That is a lot to deal with. Don't be too hard on yourself. Even though you can't control all of your physical ailments, you can take charge of how you react and feel emotionally and what direction you want to take in your life. Think of the possibilities of what you ARE able to accomplish and enjoy the things that make you happy. You still have a bright future and if you believe that with adjustments to your lifestyle you can make a good life for yourself and your child, then it is possible! Contact local and government agencies who specialize in assisting the disabled. Planning and scheduling helps me figure out what I can accomplish in my day.


I have the confidence with your determination you will accomplish what you are striving for!


Stay strong,


Live well, Laugh often, Love much

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