Finding Strength – a Column by Lisa Weber

Lisa is the married mother of two beautiful girls. She holds a master’s degree and currently teaches third grade. She is extremely passionate about overcoming challenges while living with a rare autoimmune disease called scleroderma. This systemic disease attacks her entire body inside and out. Still, she manages to continue doing the things she loves: cooking (poorly), building furniture, jogging (slowly), and making clothes. She will tell you everything she does is perfectly imperfect! One of her life goals is to help raise awareness for rare diseases and to continue her personal fight to survive and thrive until a cure is found.

I’m Not Losing My Mind, but It Sure Feels Like It

The scleroderma fog has struck again! My entire brain is floating inside a haze, and nothing is clear. I’ve been sitting in front of my computer for hours, writing and rewriting this column. I now have four different columns started, but as I write this, none are close to finished.

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…