Patient Comments: Scleroderma - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with scleroderma.

Comment from: schultzie, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: November 17

I've had scleroderma since 1986. It was diagnosed after several occurrences of Raynaud's phenomenon. Shortly thereafter my fingers started to curl. After two weeks of research, I discovered that leaving meat out of my diet would help. I tried a vegetarian diet and to my surprise and joy the fingers straightened out in about 10 days. That's 28 years ago. You may have guessed, I'm still a vegetarian.

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Comment from: faith, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 11

I am 49 years old. I was diagnosed with scleroderma in April 2014. My arms started to itch badly, skin harden, and scarring after I had carpal tunnel surgery the later part of 2012 on both my hands. No doctor could tell me what was causing the itch. On a visit to a new hematologist she noticed my arms and asked what was going on with my arms. I explained to her the situation. She was the first doctor that could even tell me what it might be. She had me do extensive lab work and sure enough when she got the results it was as she anticipated; it was scleroderma. I have this sick feeling inside of me all the time. I feel tired all the time. My body feels cold, then hot, that I need to take hot showers to warm up my body. My toes and fingers are swollen and numb all day. My fingers and toes get white from being cold. My joints hurt. I have been dealing with this for 17 months and I wouldn't wish any of it on my worst enemy. To all that suffer from this disease chin up and try to live life to the fullest.

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Comment from: Loretta, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 14

I'm a 65 year old woman who was finally diagnosed with CREST syndrome (limited scleroderma) a year ago. My symptoms began with Raynaud's, then GERD, then a heart attack, later an enlarged heart and pulmonary hypertension. I had an infusion catheter which pumps the medicine Veletri directly into my heart. That along with Viagra has helped my heart shrink back from 98 percent to 51percent, so I'm able to breathe much better now. I also deal with scleroderma, my skin has numerous red blotches and skin eruptions with boney slivers. I was told I have internal rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, so I'm in pain quite often. My biggest problem is how this disease has affected my bowels. I seldom leave my home due to loose bowels that can erupt at any given moment. I am very grateful however, that I'm alive and my heart and breathing have improved with Veletri. I only hope this information will help someone dealing with these symptoms.

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Comment from: cupotee, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 26

I was diagnosed with systemic scleroderma in November 2014. I had been having signs of waking up not being able to walk, not able to lift my hands, swelling in my face (especially around my eyes) and my wrists swollen and hurting where I couldn't lift anything. As soon as I was diagnosed it seemed to get worse. I have more pain than ever, legs hurting so bad I can't walk 10 steps without tears running down my face. This is a big life change and I hope that there is a cure for this because I don't like pain.

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Comment from: 19-24 Male (Caregiver) Published: May 09

My husband has scleroderma and it has ripped our life apart. We have 3 children, a 1 year, a 4 year and a 9 year old; he can no longer play with them or even hold his daughter. He was diagnosed 3 months ago but it started about last year and has quickly progressed. It started with his hands and feet in pain and changing color from white to purple. He has now lost all function of his right hand it is stuck in a curl position and his left hand is following quickly it is also in his legs. There are most days he can't walk. He is in pain all the time and lays in bed because that is all he can do. I feel sorry for anyone who gets this, I wouldn"t wish it on my worst enemy.

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Comment from: lee, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 13

I was told I had scleroderma in 2004, I was bed ridden for nearly 3 years. Two years ago I went on a course of chemotherapy, which has help me a great deal. I can move around and do things again. I have a bit of my life back, even though I will never work again at least I can do things. I keep getting bad reflux which ends up in my lungs so I am ending up with pneumonia; this has started about 4 weeks back. I am not sure what the next course of action is, I try anything that has worked for others and I have been on many medications, most didn't work.

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Scleroderma - Symptoms and Signs Question: What are your scleroderma symptoms and signs?
Scleroderma - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment, therapy, or medication have you used to manage symptoms of scleroderma?
Scleroderma - Types Question: What type of scleroderma do you have?

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