I am fifty-four years old, married and work as a receptionist in a small northern Minnesota town. In February 2006, I noticed I was getting very lethargic and my muscles were aching. It was winter in Minnesota, so I attributed it to being the flu of some sort, or old age was finally creeping up on me. This went on for almost a month.
During this time I had developed a sore on my finger tip and noticed the finger was getting very cold, especially when I went outside. I went to my doctor to get it checked out, and he diagnosed it as Raynaud's Syndrome. An MRA indicated that I had a small blood clot in the artery in my arm, thereby not getting blood flow to the finger tip. Upon taking blood tests, they discovered that my ANA levels were very high.
On the first of March, I suddenly became very short of breath. I could barely walk ten feet without needing to sit down. I was admitted to the hospital for two days. I do have mild asthma and allergies (although I have only had one asthma attack in ten years.) So it was diagnosed as asthma. Now I am thinking it may be related to the scleroderma.
I went through several more blood tests and had an angiogram to determine where the clot was. I then saw a rheumatologist in April. I was put on an aspirin a day and blood pressure medication (although I have low blood pressure) to help thin my blood and dissolve the clot.
I had some hand pressures tests done recently, although I have not received the results yet. However, the rheumatologist informed me that I have Limited Scleroderma. Eureka! After three and a half months, I finally have an answer and know why I ache and why my finger tip will not heal. I also have problems with constipation.
After reading these stories, I think I am going to get checked for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). I also notice that I have a hard time walking after sitting for a while.
Providing this does not progress any further, I can deal with it. Like they say, "Take a look at someone else's problems, and you take back all of your own."
Email: Withheld by request
Story edited 05-18-06 JTD
Story posted 06-16-06 SLE
ISN Senior Artist: Sherrill Knaggs
Story Editor: Judith Thompson Devlin
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
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