Two weeks ago, after seven years of a very severe case of Raynaud's, I was diagnosed with scleroderma. My rheumatologist said I have CREST or Limited Scleroderma and to come back and see him in two months. I originally went to see him for what I thought was a complication from the Raynaud's, an infected ulcer on the end of one finger.
Never having heard of scleroderma, I never really asked any questions when he told me and went home to look it up on the Internet. Well, I certainly found a lot of information and do not really like what I found. Now I am having a hard time thinking about anything else. After reading about some of the symptoms, I have discovered a few things that I have had for years like, heartburn, problems swallowing andred dots on the palms of my hands that may all be related to this disease.
I am a thirty-seven-year-old man with a wife and two very young children. I rarely ever missed a day from work on the local auto assembly line. My wife and I have long term goals and plan things out well in advance. We try to do all the responsible things like retirement and education planning. Now my world has been rocked. I missed eight weeks of work and do not really know if I will be able to continue, or for how long, with the type of work I have done since I was eighteen.
I feel like I have run into a wall at this point and am looking for a door that will let me continue on with my life as I planned it. I have made an appointment with anotherrheumatologist who specializes in scleroderma, but will have to wait another ten weeks for that.
In the meantime, I am on a roller coaster of fear, depression and confusion. What a ride.
New email address needed.
Old Email Prefix: iceback99
Story posted 9-27-02
Email note posted 01-19-05 SLE
ISN Senior Artist: Sherrill Knaggs
Story Editor: Judith Devlin
Red Dots (Telangiectasia)
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