I have recently been diagnosed with systemic sclerosis. This prognosis has absolutely rocked my world. I am only twenty-eight years old and feel I have only just gotten my life on track.
Approximately ten years ago, I started to feel extremely run down and found that I had a very strange rash on both arms. Doctors did various blood tests for my fatigue but never came up with any solid conclusions. I was accused of suffering from depression by a number of doctors. As I told them, I suffered from depression as a result of being so tired. My exhaustion affected by life so badly that at times I was not able to work.
As for the rash, they assumed that it was just a rash and gave me various creams which did absolutely nothing.
Six months ago, I moved back to my home town. I began to get extremely sick every few weeks. I had no idea what was going on. I thought I was simply a "drama queen.' My work and life were being affected as a result. After much persistence, I was diagnosed by a doctor who fortunately had researched systemic sclerosis.
I was at first shocked by all the information on the web site and my instant reaction was one of fear. Now after much contemplation and research I am confident that I will be okay.
I am still not sure how this will affect my life moving forward. Tomorrow I go to a specialist, so I should, hopefully, know more soon.
I would not wish such a disease on anyone, but I am grateful for the love and support I have at this very scary time in my life. I hope by remaining positive and with care, I will remain reasonably healthy. What I wonder is:
Am I being too optimistic?
What should I really expect?
Does this affect childbirth and how? (this is my greatest fear).
How do I make sure I get the right treatment?
I look forward to hearing from others with much needed advice!
Email: [email protected]
Story edited 01-30-06 JTD
Story posted 01-31-06 SLE
ISN Senior Artist: Sherrill Knaggs
Story Editor: Judith Devlin
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