After years of suffering from a long list of unexplained complaints (fatigue, muscle/joint pain, rashes, fever), I was diagnosed with UCTD in June of 1998 by my rheumatologist. At that time, I was overwhelmed with my upcoming wedding and the possibility of being "sick."
Although I had Lyme Disease in 1989, my doctor did not feel there was any connection between the two. My rheumatologist suggested I try plaquenil, which I did. I suffered from adverse side effects including severe pain in both of my eyes. I was taken off that medication and told that I could treat my symptoms with anti-inflammatory medications as needed and see how I did. My doctor suggested taking EPA Fish Oil tablets daily which proved to be extremely helpful with my symptoms.
I got married in August of 1998 feeling great, and I continued to do well until June of 1999. All of the symptoms reappeared — muscle pain, rashes, fever, lethargy. I went back to my rheumatologist last week and he confirmed my diagnosis as UCTD and ran extensive blood tests.
It is so frustrating to be diagnosed with something starting with "undifferentiated." Although I do not hope to be diagnosed with a specific disease, I wish I knew what was wrong with me. I am so tired of hearing people say, "It's just stress," or "Maybe it's the weather," or "You could be run down." My symptoms are real and at thirty-one, I feel like I am ninety years old when I experience a flare up.
I will be getting my blood test results in two days, although I do not expect to get any definitive answers.
New Email address needed 04-29-08 SLE.
Old Email Prefix: fran74
Story posted 7-20-99 SLE
Story Artist: Shelley Ensz
United Way of Central New Mexico
United Way of Snohomish County
See ISN News for recent donors, including Pam Hop, Margaret Roof, Winifred Schillberg, Arnold Slotkin, and Juliet Youkhana. Plus donations in honor of Kim Thwaits, and in loving memory of Marta Marx, Jim Miller, and Arlene Marie Petulla.
Click Here to Donate or Shop
or click on the floating green DONATE sclero.org button.
SCLERO.ORG is the world leader for trustworthy research, support, education and awareness for scleroderma and related illnesses, such as pulmonary hypertension. We are a service of the nonprofit International Scleroderma Network (ISN), which is a 501(c)(3) U.S.-based public charitable foundation, established in 2002. Meet Our Team, or Volunteer. Donations may also be mailed to: