Author Archives: Lisa Weber

Scleroderma Stole My Christmas To-do List, and I’m Thrilled

When we became parents, my husband and I started our own holiday traditions. One of our favorites was taking our two daughters to snag the plumpest pine tree, and then going home to enjoy everyone’s favorite meal of homemade breaded chicken cutlets, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Bellies full,…

Finding the Right Doctor Can Make All the Difference

The alarm on my phone starts its disruptive routine early, and the repetitive noise annoys me out of my slumber. While the rest of the world remains cuddled up for a few more hours of sleep, my husband and I drag ourselves out of bed at 3 a.m. to catch a two-hour…

Anxiety Over Public Restrooms Is Real

I take immunosuppressants to stop my body from fighting itself and reduce the symptoms of scleroderma. But that also prevents my body from defending against bacteria and viruses. This makes me think of everything in a new way. After the first few months of taking immunosuppressants, I learned that…

Disease Progression Stings, but It Won’t Defeat Me

“It’s time to start a more aggressive scleroderma treatment,” my local rheumatologist says, although I’m not prepared to hear it. She thinks we are losing the battle and need to fight back harder. But just like in the movies when the main character is given bad news, her words…

I’m Laughing at My Salt-and-Pepper Skin

Back in the late 1980s, I was listening to the iconic female hip-hop group Salt-N-Pepa as I entered my teenage years. Today, their words would be considered mild, but back then, tunes like “Push It” and “Let’s Talk About Sex” were a hot topic in the tabloids. Like most…

Scleroderma Can Be Overwhelming, but It Doesn’t Define Me

It was a particularly beautiful morning. The hot Florida sun was still low in the sky, and a light breeze kept us comfortable while we watched our youngest daughter play soccer. It was almost perfect. As usual, I was rudely reminded that my broken body needs constant attention. My bladder…

Fighting Chronic Illness With a Positive Mindset

The machine monitoring my vitals beeps annoyingly to alert the nurses that my blood pressure has dropped again. My limbs ache from the frigid air conditioning, and my body is sore from being held hostage in the hospital bed. Fear, loneliness, and pain begin to consume my thoughts once again,…