Hello, I am thirty-two years old, and I have been suffering from this illness since I was nine. I am from Málaga and would like to help all those people who are having trouble fighting this illness. When I started having the first symptoms, we didn't know what it was. My fingertips lost their colour, they first turned white and deep purple afterwards. I was a little girl that stood out, I had long blond hair, and I have always been a bit chubby, when I was born I weighed 4 kilos, and I was raised, as my mother says, like a rose. I am the second of 5 children.
My mother noticed that I was tired and sad. She took me to the doctor and he said I was allergic to dust and chalk at school. After a few months, my skin started hardening and it looked strained. My face was changing, my lips started disappearing, my mouth became smaller, and the strain in my face changed my appearance. Then I went back to the doctor, this time it was a private one, and he told her to take me to the hospital. There, the doctors saw me and told my mother that I had to stay to see what was wrong with me.
After a month there, in which every day I got groups of doctors coming to see me, as if I was some strange animal, and I got tested for many things, among which they performed a biopsy. With it they diagnosed Diffuse Scleroderma. Some doctor told my mother that I wouldn't make it, but you can clearly see they were wrong.
I have lived with this illness for almost twenty-two years. I have gone through every cycle. My lungs are affected, my hands are deformed, I am 34 kilos, I have ulcers in my eyes because of the dryness, I have reduced mobility, since I have calcinosis throughout, as well as alopecia, stomach problems, reflux, in a nutshell, everything that this illness gives you.
But I can also tell you I am very happy. I have my downs, like everyone else, but I try to stay positive, and I haven't let the thought of what is still to come to affect me. I know my life is different, but I accept it and I will fight, come what may.
What I would like is to be with my family as long as possible, my brothers, my mother, who is like part of me, and my friends, who look up to me. That's why I say, let's keep going, let's look back and realize that life isn't easy for anyone. To whomever has been diagnosed with this illness, be strong and live every day to the fullest, you can live happy, and be very positive. As they say, faith moves mountains. Kisses to everyone, and keep on fighting.
Email: [email protected]
Story edited 09-02-07 JTD
Story posted 10-11-07 SLE
ISN Senior Artist: Sherrill Knaggs
Story Translator: Alba León
Story Editor: Judith Thompson Devlin
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