I have been reasonably healthy, am married and have two healthy boys. We have been going through a bad phase of married life, financially, and I have been particularly worried. As a result I experienced terrible stomach cramps and excruciating migraines so I visited my local general practitioner (GP) for stomach ailments and was referred to a hospital. A sample of my stools was taken but the results showed nothing. I was told to stay away from coffee and chocolate, etc. to ease my migraines.
I became aware of a small brown spot just above my right eye and gradually this patch became bigger and darker. People asked me if I had walked into a door because by this time an indent started to appear in exactly the same place as the brown patch. During this time of my life I experienced so much stress that I could have given up on life. I was twenty-nine years of age. More dark spots appeared behind my neck, over my body, and on my arms. I was referred to the dermatology department of the hospital where a biopsy was performed. The professor (doctor) diagnosed me with linear scleroderma combined with en coup de sabre. According to her this is very rare in South Africa. She also confirmed that it is not systemic and thus not life threatening. Phew, what a relief.
I then browsed the internet for information, and provided my local GP, Doctor Tripp, with up to date information of this condition. He was very pleased to receive this information and by scrutinizing it he prompted me to try using sun block on the patch. I tried this but with no change.
My eldest son is suffering with eczema and is using Cynalar C. I, feeling desperate, tried this ointment and experienced a funny sensation on my linear patch and indentation. However, a discoloration took place, somehow the patch started to fade and small white spots started to appear in the left corner of my right eye. I immediately stopped with Cynalar C and used Vaseline E (vitamin E) cream. What a difference.
The patch is fading very noticeably. At times when I feel stressed out I get this funny sensation which is also abating. Maybe I am on to something good. I don't know, but I feel good; healthier, more positive, although the condition has never really troubled me. The only down side to this was that I knew it was there and became aware of it when people stared at it.
I am still continuing to use cream, hoping that it will disappear completely. The indent (en coup de sabre), I was told, could be corrected with a collagen injection, but this is very expensive in South Africa.
Now I am happily married, financially secure, and now have three healthy happy boys. I praise God every day of my life that I have the time to spend with my family, friends and contemporaries.
This is my life.
Email: [email protected]
Story posted 11-06-03
ISN Senior Artist: Sherrill Knaggs
Story Editor: Judith Devlin
En coup de sabre
SCLERO.ORG was the world's leading nonprofit for trustworthy research, support, education and awareness for scleroderma and related illnesses from 1998 to 2021. It was a grassroots movement from the original Scleroderma from A to Z web site, which was founded by Shelley Ensz. We were a 501(c)(3) U.S.-based public charitable foundation. We closed this web site and our nonprofit agency in April 2021.