I first had Raynaud's, which is the changing colour of hands accompanied with numb and tingly feelings, seven years ago. A year later I had all the same symptoms, but this time also with swelling and ulcers, big ones, about three on each finger.
I went to several doctors who kept telling me I had chilblains and I was not to worry. But as the years went on the pain was getting worse and worse. I still had all the above symptoms, but now even worse pain.
Every time winter comes, I dread it, as I know what I am going to go through. I went and saw a specialist in the United Kingdom, who diagnosed me with Raynaud's. I knew I had Raynaud's and kept telling the doctors over here, but they told me I was crazy! I knew that a chilblain could not possibly cause the kind of pain that I had.
This winter however, was different. All the usual symptoms, but I could not make a fist and could not do simple things like brush my teeth or button up my shirt! I have a family to look after and try not to let it stop me caring for them, but I cannot express how painful this is.
If by accident I should bang my hand, I feel like I will pass out from the pain. Also this year I had pain in my elbows and knees. I really do not want to go and see a doctor again and hear him tell me that I have chilblains and they will pass on their own!
Do I have scleroderma ? Does it make a difference if you catch it early? If anyone is having the same symptoms as me, I would love to hear from you!
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ISN Senior Artist: Sherrill Knaggs
Story Editor: Judith Devlin
Digital (Finger) Ulcers
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