It all started about six years ago. I was very active, alive, mother of three who were all in school. I was out playing baseball with my children and a few family and friends. I was of course the picture/hind catcher. The ball got hit over a fence and thrown back in to me. Well, instead of catching it with the glove, I caught it with my face. Which caused a broken eye orbit, broken cheek bone, plastic surgery and steel pins to fix it all. It also was the start of my health problems. I never did recover!
I started having bad pain and stiffness all over my body, I stayed so tired all the time, all I wanted to do was be left alone, and to stay in bed.
I saw several doctors, even had Epidural steroid injections in my spine and Facet injections in my lower back. I was running into door frames, furniture and people. I started shaking in my hands. But the doctors in my small home town just could not find anything wrong with me.
My spouse at the time told me and other family members that I was not sick, just lazy. I started to believe that myself. But time did not change things for me, the pain and feeling tired was worse.
With my at-the-time-spouse, family and doctors thinking I was putting on an act, I wound up getting a divorce, and staying away from my family and my doctors. This lasted for a long while.
Then I met my angel, David. To make a long story short we got married and moved to Little Rock, with David knowing I was sick, and getting me to good doctors that could help.
I saw Dr. Shinder, a pain care specialist. He thought I had Parkinson's. He took many tests and an MRI, then called me about two days later and told us I had a growth, in the pineal glad area of the brain. Also that I had an underactive thyroid. About a week and a half later, Dr. Shinder called again and told me something was really bad in my test and I needed to come in as soon as possible.
We went and I was told that I had scleroderma. I then got an appointment with Dr. Houk, a rheumatologist. He did an exam, then told me I also have fibromyalgia. I was put under so many meds, plus light duty at work — to the point my boss told me they did not need me any more!
I had in all this time filed for SSD (Social Security Disability) and got turned down. I was so depressed and felt so useless, I did something really stupid, I took all my pills at one time, why wait for all this stuff to kill me, I'll end it all right here and now!
Wrong! My spouse, who I will always love for stopping me, rushed me to the hospital, and I was in the intensive care unit for three days and three nights, I could not even breath on my own. Then I got a nice little stay on the psychiatric ward; boy was that something!! Never again, not me!
It is now the end of 1998 and things are starting to look really up for David and myself. I stay home now. I am being a good wife. I have won my SSD case. I should start getting the check in a month or so. It's not much but it will help!
David and I have a great relationship, my family is on my side, and a few friends have even called to say they are sorry for not believing in me.
To my SD family, my Fibro family, and to my blood family: I LOVE YOU ALL VERY MUCH! THANKS FOR BEING HERE FOR ME! Could not HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT YOU ALL :') I did not put everything in here, that would have been a novel. LOL!
New email address needed 09-14-06 SLE
Old Email Prefix: TinaLech
Posted 12-15-98 SLE
Tina was our very first site visitor to submit her story.
Thank you, Tina!
In Loving Memory of Lorraine Wempner, a donation to tackle scleroderma has been made by Paul Wempner. Posted 11/13/2019. (Also see: ISN News)
We have the world's best supporters! See ISN News.
SCLERO.ORG is the world's leading nonprofit for trustworthy research, support, education and awareness for scleroderma and related illnesses. We are a 501(c)(3) U.S.-based public charitable foundation, established in 2002. Meet Our Team. Donations may also be mailed to: