I was diagnosed with localized scleroderma by a dermatologist in 1999 at age thirty-three. It started out as what I thought was a small bruise on my abdomen and grew into a shape larger than a dollar bill. It sometimes itched or was painful, so they prescribed a cortisone cream which made it burn.
I have seen numerous doctors with all different diagnosis, from oh it's nothing to you're going to die to yes it can cause some complications. I think the rare number of cases limits the knowledge and funding for this terrible disease.
My joints are so stiff that most times I can barely move. I have digestion problems and it feels like the food I eat takes several hours to days to move through my system. My muscles feel weak all the time even though I continue to try to keep them strong with exercise. Most times I just feel crippled and can't get out of bed. I am now forty-four and it seems to get worse everyday with most doctors totally clueless as to what to do. I tell them just treat the symptoms.
Morphea scleroderma is a form of localized scleroderma, which is never fatal, and which typically affects only the skin, and not the joints, digestive tract or internal organs. However, about one-fourth of morphea patients develop one or two symptoms outside of the skin patch(es). Various studies show that about 0 to 4% of morphea patients also have systemic scleroderma. Morphea can also occur along with any other disease so consultation with a listed scleroderma expert is especially important to accurately identify the cause of any systemic symptoms.
Email Withheld by Request
Story posted 02-07-11 SLE
Story Artist: Shelley Ensz
Medical: Diseases and Symptoms
Scleroderma Experts (Worldwide)
Symptoms of Systemic Scleroderma
roberta Types of Scleroderma
What is Scleroderma?
TOLL FREE HOTLINE, U.S. and Canada: 1-800-564-7099
Ask for our Free Info Packet by email or postal mail!
SCLERO.ORG is the world's leading nonprofit for trustworthy research, support, education and awareness for scleroderma and related illnesses.
We are a service of the nonprofit International Scleroderma Network (ISN), which is a 501(c)(3) U.S.-based public charitable foundation, established in 2002. Meet Our Team, or Volunteer. Donations may also be mailed to: