For 40 some odd years, I was a seriously healthy, strong chickadee. I did yoga, played tennis, skied. I was a soccer playing mom! When everyone else got the flu, I waded through the sea of germs tending to the sick with nary a scratch. My experience of being sick was 24 hours of R&R, in bed, with a good book!
That all changed about two years ago.
I got the bug going around my kids’ school (Parvovirus). Everyone else got better, but I got worse. Then things got weird. I lost weight, my hands turned blue, and then puffed up like sausages. I couldn’t tie my shoes or open a door or turn the key in the ignition. My kids (8 and 10) learned to cook because I couldn’t hold a knife.
I finally caved in and went to see a Rheumatologist.
I didn’t want to because a diagnosis from a Rheumatologist is for life. They treat the incurables.
Long story short, I tested seriously positive for a rare autoimmune disease called MCTD. It’s a hodgepodge of Lupus, RA, Scleroderma… a little bit of this and that. It can be very mild, or quite serious, and requires lots of testing and monitoring especially in the first year.
It’s been a year since my diagnosis. Medications have beaten back almost all the symptoms. I stepped back on the soccer pitch this Sunday for the first time in almost 2 years! Beautiful.
We had our first dinner party last week. I played tennis. I walked my dog without (too much) difficulty.
And I don’t need to use the remote starter on the car anymore.
Remission? Drugs? Who knows. I’m just so grateful for everything, including my disease. MCTD has taught me compassion and gratitude, and strengthened my family beyond belief.
That’s my story!
Submitted September 20, 2011
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.