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Mixed Connective Tissue Disease

Thursday, August 30, 2012

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. emoticon

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. emoticon

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. emoticon

So why do I smile often and stay positive??? emoticon

Because things could be sooooooooooooooo much worse. emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • DEBBY4576
    Yes, I can see how you were first diagnosed with lupus. My husband has crohn's disease, also an autoimmune disease. A good anti inflammatory diet is SCD. It's very restrictive but worked for him. He's been in remission for years. He now eats what he wants, but we know if he starts to have problems what diet to use. There is no cure, and doctors tell you no diet. Full name of diet is Specific Carbohydrate diet. You will lose weight. Eventually, while still on the diet you can bake with coconut flour too. Sorry you had to be one of the unlucky ones to get an autoimmune disease. I blame the American diet haha. BTW, I read your post on the Natural Remedies team where I am a coleader.
    1022 days ago
  • SARAL72
    Dear Friend,

    I also think like you that things could be worth, it's always better to look at the glass half full....that's what I thought when I had the dengue this Spring, it could have been malaria!

    I had also many health issues in the past, many are gone since I lost some weight but many will stay for ever and I'm glad that you seem to be optimistic about your condition even if there is no cure. That's the best way to deal with it : no fight but mediation!

    It took me a long time to understand it, and I only hope that you will have many many more good days in the future. You did really good with your life!!
    1145 days ago
    WOW! That's all I can say this morning after reading your blog.I typed in Mixed Connective Tissue Disease and this is what popped up. I am trying to get as much information as possible about MCTD because this was mentioned Friday by my doctor.I am waiting to hear more results from the blood test and x-rays that were taken. I have some of these symptons but not all and am anxious to get results back.Thank you so much for this very informative blog and your positive inspiration. I am almost always a positive person but have been slacking lately because of my pain and symptoms that have had me questioning what has been going on with me.I am despertly looking for motivation to stay positive and learn how to deal with these changes in my life and your positive attitude and blog was a great lift this rainy yucky day here in West Georgia. Thank you and Wishing you a day full of Blessings!
    emoticon Tammie
    1307 days ago
    I'm just reading this blog for the first time and learning more about you! You are so upbeat and alive and I know that can help you to overcome the overall feeling of getting down so much because of the disease. I'm wishing you the very best in life and that means with your weight loss journey too. emoticon emoticon and you ARE doing it!! I can enter into your condition with my RA. So much alike and alot of the same meds. I'm on Plaquenil also along with the nasty Prednisone, but soon, hopefully, to get on Enbrel. My appt. with my Rheumy is 11/19, so that's when I'm hoping to start on it! Now, let's just hope that it likes me and I like it! Take care Sweetie!
    emoticon Karen
    1439 days ago
    I am so very sorry that you are in such pain. You are an amazing person with an amazing attitude. I've never heard of this disease before, so thank you for taking the time to explain the diagnosis and symptoms. You are very brave and have a terrific attitude. You are truly one of the success stories! Take care and God bless, Deb
    1498 days ago
  • LOVE7755
    I love the end where you state it could be much worse. You are a amazing!
    1505 days ago
    Thank you for sharing I learned something today. emoticon
    You have a wonderful attitude and positive outlook. I love that you still motivate people all the time. Thank you for sharing and sharing your positive outlook. emoticon
    1507 days ago
  • KNH771
    You're in my thoughts and prayers!
    1508 days ago
  • ANGEL1066
    I'm so sorry you have so much to deal with. I've had many of the same issues over the years, thankfully not so much now. Enbrel, diet and exercise have really helped. Also finding out about vitamin D3 and upping my supplementation to over 2000 IU daily has really helped my energy level. I suggest you try this inexpensive supplement, too, since your light and sun sensitivities make it unlikely that your body will be making enough of its own D3. This vitamin is important in nerve function as well as bone and skin health. Too little can cause pain and brain fogginess. Ask your docs. If they say it will not hurt, try it for a month or so and see.
    1512 days ago
    Thanks for sharing. I learned something new today.
    You are amazing. thanks for all your encouragement.

    Take care and have a great day. emoticon
    1512 days ago
    You are amazing - you are able to keep a positive attitude in the midst of your pain and health issues. You are an inspiration to me and will be in my thoughts and prayers.
    1513 days ago
    emoticon Very well put & I'm sure someone was helped by your transparency!

    Be blessed,
    1513 days ago
    I learned something today, thank you. You have a great attitude and I hope you continue to get better each day.
    1513 days ago
    a positive outlook helps with chronic illness of any type. hey, it helps with any Life! I am sorry you have to deal with health challenges. Hugs
    1513 days ago
    You are so amazing. God bless you, and good luck on this journey. emoticon
    1513 days ago
    Wow! Now my problems don't seem so bad. You are so strong. emoticon emoticon
    1513 days ago
    Thank you for sharing with t you Spark family you are a great inspiration to so many i am so glad you are spark family. have a great day emoticon emoticon
    1513 days ago
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