Because of a blog I wrote earlier this week, I have been receiving emails asking about my Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, what it is, and what are its symptoms. It is an autoimmune condition that causes insane amounts of inflammation in the body, which attacks, weakens, and destroys the joints, muscles and tissue in the body. In the worst cases, vital organs can be damaged. There is no known cause, and there is no cure. It's mostly found in women, and it has the same symptoms as Lupus, which is what I was originally diagnosed with. I take Plaquenil, use medicated shampoo (as needed) creams (as needed) various pain meds, a multi-vitamin (by choice) and fish oil (by choice) daily. I no longer have to take Prednisone (a steroid), due to regular exercise.
My symptoms include joint pain and swelling, swelling in my feet, legs, and hands, muscle weakness, sun and light sensitivity, muscle spasms, chest pains, blurred vision, migraines, rashes caused by the sun, hair shedding, scalp sores, extreme fatigue, insomnia, dizzy spells, flaking skin around my cheeks, nose and in my eyebrows, brain fog, short-term memory problems, sensitivities to heat and cold, and balance problems. That's all I can think of now.
THANK GOD, I don't have all of these symptoms all at once. However, the pain, is the one symptom that never leaves, the level of pain changes daily, but it never leaves. Some of these symptoms are worse than others, some don't show up for weeks at a time, and some stick around for weeks at a time. That's why I have to be patient with myself, and take things one day at a time. I am so thankful, that I have more good days than bad ones.
So why do I smile often and stay positive???
Because things could be sooooooooooooooo much worse.