Originally experiencing Raynaud’s syndrome I was eventually diagnosed with Scleroderma, a rare autoimmune disease I had never heard of. Later manifesting symptoms of CREST and Sjogren’s syndromes, I chose to believe that the scleroses was localized rather than systemic.
In 2017 I experienced renal crisis (kidney failure) and cardiac involvement. Four hospital stays within ten months and outpatient treatments including plasma exchange, hemodialysis and later peritoneal dialysis. Experimenting with a variety of medications including ACE inhibitors, endothelin receptor antagonists, blood thinner, and immune suppressants. I decided against seeking a kidney donor as I understood the disease could potentially destroy the new kidney as well.
Currently seeking a stem cell transplant, a rare/experimental form of Scleroderma treatment in Canada.
While I definitely felt periods of anxiety and discouragement throughout this experience, for some reason I never felt afraid. Perhaps it was the amazing team of health care professionals providing my care, the way I was brought up, or just my disposition, but I was optimistic that as bad as things got that everything would somehow turn out okay. I believe that some of my strategies to remain optimistic have helped my attitude and physical outcomes.
Thank you for your interest in the Sick With Optimism blog, I look forward to sharing my ideas and experiences with you and receiving your feedback. For updates and new blog posts, please follow the Sick With Optimism Blog or follow us on social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.