I was diagnosed with systemic scleroderma in September of 2016, although I believe I have had scleroderma since I was 5 years old. I believe this because of physical changes I have noticed and seen throughout my photographs.
Everything began in the spring, when I noticed a small but deep hole on my elbow that was at some point just a scratch or small lesion. The lesion was not healing whatsoever, but I did not feel any symptom of infection. But, obviously, it became worrisome. Furthermore, I began losing my appetite, and I did not even want to drink water anymore. As a result, I began feeling constant and chronic fatigue. I would sleep a lot and would wake up late into the day. Whenever I went in the car, I would instantly fall asleep.
My doctor gave me a month to gain weight, but I never did, and I still had no appetite. My mother then took me to the pediatrician to get my elbow checked out, and it was there that the doctor noticed how skinny and underweight I was. My pediatrician asked me if I was worried about being more full, and I answered that I didn’t want to be fat, and thus my doctor thought that I had infant anorexia.
After the month, I visited my pediatrician once again, and it was then when she noticed something off with my nails and arms. She also noticed that my hands couldn’t touch my elbows. As a result, she decided to do blood work, and we received two possible diagnoses. One was Lupus and the other arthritis, so she referred me to a rheumatologist at the Los Angeles Children Hospital.
After many tests, questions, and evaluations I was diagnosed with systemic scleroderma. I was put into further tests, and I was then also diagnosed with esophageal dysmotility and Interstitial Lung Disease.