JOYCE, scleroderma

In 1999, I had trouble breathing so I went for a heart and lung test. Everything checked okay. Then my hands started breaking out and joints went stiff on me. The doctor diagnosed me with Raynaud's. After a blood test he called and told me I had scleroderma.

Our daughter lives in Maine, and at that time she worked in a school library. She called and said she had found some information on David Trentham at Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center in Boston, and wanted to make an appointment for me. We were going up to visit her anyway so we said okay. I was pretty bad by then - couldn't even put my shoes and socks on. There were so many things I could no longer do for myself.

Well, Dr. Trentham put me on Minocin. At first it was 100 mg. in the morning and 100 mg. at night, but I had diarrhea with this dosage, so he changed it to 50 mg. twice daily. He said the most important thing was to not eat anything for two hours before taking it and two hours after. I did this faithfully.

This June (2001) we went back to see him and he said I was in remission and took me off the Minocin. The most amazing thing is that I can do just about everything that I haven't been able to do for two years. I lost 30 lbs but have gained back 14 lbs, but people say I look better.

We dance two times a week and I'm back to walking. I'm 71 years old and do all my housework, etc. I'm a very happy person and would love to help someone that is having the same problem I did.


You can reach Joyce at

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