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Helen: Raynaud's

Do I have scleroderma? Does it make a difference if you catch it early?

Father Time for Helen by Sherrill Knagg's 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!

To Contact the Author

Email: [email protected]

ISN Senior Artist: Sherrill Knaggs
Story Editor: Judith Devlin
Difficult Diagnosis
Digital (Finger) Ulcers

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 Helen P: CREST Scleroderma

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