The Effects of Living With Scleroderma

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by Wendy Henderson |

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Writer Amy Gietzen has lived with scleroderma for 16 years. Diagnosed with the condition at 19, she has seen her body go through many changes and has had to adjust to the hardships life has thrown her way due to the disease.

MORE: Professional gardener explains how scleroderma and Raynaud’s affect her work

In an article for The Mighty, Amy explains that she had to give up her nursing course and since she couldn’t work, she’s still living with her parents at the age of 35, unable to financially support herself.

As well as the physical aspects of having a progressive chronic illness, Amy talks about the emotional effects. Dating and romantic relationships can be difficult, particularly when you know your condition has left you unable to have children. Even socializing with friends can be troublesome — fatigue and pain often leave people living with scleroderma unable to join in with social events, particularly during the winter when symptoms are often much more pronounced.

However, for all the negatives scleroderma has brought, Amy’s happy and content with her life. She’s surrounded by a close-knit group of friends and family and as an advocate for scleroderma, she’s met some incredible people and feels very connected to the scleroderma community.

MORE: Five ways you can help raise awareness of scleroderma

Scleroderma News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.