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Angela S: Overlap Syndrome (Scleroderma, Polymyositis, Rheumatoid Arthritis)

I could hardly walk or get out of bed.

Pink Daisy for Angela by Sherrill Knaggs, ISN Artist Hello, my name is Angela. I am twenty-five years old and I was diagnosed with polymyositis and scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, mitral valve prolapse, a heart murmur, and pericarditis. I was diagnosed with the scleroderma, polymyositis, rheumatoid arthritis on June 5, 2002.

I did not know I had these diseases until I had my son on December 26, 2001. After I had him I became very weak. I could hardly walk or get out of bed. If my feet touched the floor I would scream and cry because it was so painful. When anyone touched my hands or wrist I cried because just from one little touch it hurt so badly. When they found it my CPK (muscle enzyme) level was 5,868.

In August of 2002 I was diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse and a heart murmur, which made me think I was not going to make it out of this mess. I basically gave up on my life. It changed my marriage to where my husband did not love me because I could not satisfy him in a sexual way anymore because my illness was making my body so stiff. He cheated on me because he and his family thought I was just being lazy and I did not love my husband because I could not perform household duties as well as I used to and because I could not perform sexual duties in our marriage.

He and his family thought he should move on and take my only child from me and he should divorce me and start another relationship with another woman and have her and him raise our child. But as a fighting mother I beat the divorce and got custody of my son. My husband moved us away from his family and we to this day are still married now for three years.

I have beaten the disease to where I am stabilized now. I am living proof that you should not give up on your life because of all of this. Yes, you may not be able to do some things like you used to, but at least you are still alive. One can even beat the disease, or at least get stabilized. You may never get rid of the disease, but you should live your life to the fullest.

I have to keep myself healthy so that I will see my son graduate, get married and raise my grandchildren someday.

Well that is my story. I hope I helped someone else understand that even if you have this disease it does not mean your life is over.

To Contact the Author

Angela S.
Email: [email protected]
Story posted 08-26-04 SLE

ISN Senior Artist: Sherrill Knaggs
Story Editor: Judith Devlin
Emotional Adjustment Heart Involvement
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Overlap Syndrome

ISN Artist: Sherrill Knaggs (In Loving Memory)

Sherrill KnaggsSherrill Knaggs, ISN Artist, created the digital photo to illustrate the story on this page. Sherrill lived in New Zealand. Her story was featured in ISN's book, Voices of Scleroderma Volume 2.

ISN Story Editor: Judith Thompson Devlin

Photo of JudithJudith Thompson Devlin is the ISN Story Editor for this story. She is also lead editor of the ISN's wonderful Voices of Scleroderma book series!

Go to Angiola: Progressive Systemic Scleroderma

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