Friday, February 24, 2006

Better Late than Never!

Writing has always come naturally to me. Since the 7th grade...Mrs. Firmender's English class...I was told how well I used the English language on paper. Little did I know that I would write for a living!

It's strange, though, that it has taken me over a year and a half to start a blog. I began writing notes on pieces of paper, but that didn't last too long. This is more permanent, plus I can share my experiences with others.

You see, I am very ill. Two doctors told me I have Mixed Connective Tissue Disease (MCTD). It is an autoimmune process with symptoms of Scleroderma, Myositis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus , Rheumatoid Arthritis and/or other autoimmune diseases. It is a description of a group of symptoms occurring together. This is different from a diagnosis that describes the underlying process.

MCTD is a disorder of the immune system, which normally functions to protect the body against invading infections and cancers and toxins. In Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, as in other autoimmune diseases, parts of the complex immune system is over-active and produces increased amounts of abnormal antibodies that attack the patient's own organs.

MCTD can affect many parts of the body, including the joints, skin, kidneys, lungs, heart, endocrine, digestive and nervous systems, and blood vessels which all are made up of connective tissue. There are reports of psychiatric disturbances, and the signs and symptoms of MCTD differ from person to person, with the symptoms of either Lupus, or Scleroderma, or Myositis or other autoimmune disease being most prevalent.

The disease can range from mild to life threatening. The lungs and kidneys are particularly at risk. It is estimated to attack women eight to fifteen times more frequently than it attacks men. So, it is primarily a woman's disease, as are most of the 80 or so autoimmune diseases. Figures, right?

Sounds scarey, huh? You bet. My emotions run from anger to sadness to wanting to be the first one to beat this thing.

I want to start this blog from the beginning...from when I first knew something was wrong. But it will have to be done from memory. Please bear with me as we begin the journey together.


Blogger Sally said...

Hi Bev... This is a wonderful outlet way for you to inform people on this horrible disease you have. It's also a great outlet for you. I look forward to reading future installments.
183 - Sal :)

3:01 PM  
Blogger spinderella said...

Beverly, keep updating this blog, count me as one of the people on your journey. Keep fighting girl. You are a great writer and can help people by writing this - especially anyone that suffers from an autoimmune or similar disease. But MCTD definitely does not define you or who you are, that's obviously way deeper. Keep making beautiful music...Suzy

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Sally said...

Hey you...

183... Always and forever


11:44 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I am 37 and just recently diagnosed with undifferentiated connective tissue disease. How comforting for me to read your blog and know there is others out there going through the same thing. I was diagnosed with Lupus 2 years ago. I have been off on disability since this past December. At this point I don't think I could ever go back to work. Thank you for sharing your blog. I look forward to more sharing and support from others who know exactly what each other is going through!


8:42 PM  
Blogger ewwalk said...

Hi Bev,

My daughter was recently diagnosed with this dreadful condition. We have spent the last month trying to get in to see a specialist and to no avail for the last month and she still is without medical care or medication. She was recently fired from her job due to excessive absences (because she was sick all the time) so she has no insurance and the cost of see a specialist is unbelievable ($250 just for a consult). She has 3 daughters all in elementary school. I have had to quit my job to take care of her and her girls who recently moved back home. Thank you for establishing this blog as an outlet for others.
Earline in Cedar Hill, TX

10:28 PM  
Anonymous Teresa said...

I am 44 and i was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma
9 years ago survivor. Since then diagnosed with lupus mctd,i live with pain everyday. Doctors keep putting me on different meds. After awhile it wears on you it's good to have people that can understand and share what they are going through.So here is a big Thank You.Hope you are doing well. T in california

11:41 AM  

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