Hi, my name is Steve Dickson, and I live in a new city called Preston, in Lancashire, England.
My first recollections of having this disease were in 1993, shortly after my father's death. I noticed my hands were becoming very cold when I walked into shade, even though it was a warm summer day. My fingers would turn white, then blue, then red before returning to normal. This continued for a few months, and even reaching into a refrigerator would bring on an attack.
I know I am one of the "lucky" ones, because my doctor immediately referred me to a rheumatologist. I was given a skin biopsy and had blood tests taken. I say "lucky" because he diagnosed scleroderma straight away from the results. I know a lot of people who have gone years with the same symptoms, yet are not given a definite diagnosis. This does not help when you are trying to claim disability benefits.
It wasn't long before they noticed lung involvement. I managed to continue working in an office environment for the British Aerospace Industry, but finally took medical retirement in August 2005. I now pursue a couple of favourite hobbies, such as birdwatching and geo-caching.
I volunteered to help with the ISN, because I feel I can contribute a lot in the way of support for anybody with this illness, and especially because being a male, I know I am in the minority as there are a lot fewer men who unfortunately get this illness.
My personal story of living with scleroderma is featured in the book, Voices of Scleroderma Volume 3.
In February 2006, I took on the additional role of being an ISN Assistant News Guide. I prepare the ISN's RSS Newsfeed, which delivers our newsroom headlines to people and websites who have RSS newsreaders, such as the Google personalized homepages.
I retired from doing the ISN's RSS Newsfeed in September 2009, as this function was taken over by our new News subforum, at long last. I really enjoyed my years of service and helping to raise awareness of scleroderma throughout the world.
Stephen Dickson: ISN Autoimmune News Guide. In this new role, I prepare the ISN's Autoimmune News, researching and preparing articles about autoimmune diseases for the ISN Newsroom and website. I am also a Support Specialist for Sclero Forums, and ISN Guide to RSS Newsfeed. Posted 03-21-06.
Stephen Dickson: ISN Assistant News Guide. In this role, I prepare the ISN's RSS Newsfeed, which delivers our ISN newsroom headlines to people and websites who have RSS newsreaders. Posted 02-04-06.
Voices of Scleroderma Volume 3 has just been released, with 100 more new patient and caregiver stories! Contributing professionals include Dr. Marco Matucci-Cerinic and Dr. Irene Miniati (on Systemic Scleroderma), Dr. Fernanda Falcini (on Juvenile Scleroderma), Dr. Tafazzul e-Haque Mahmud, Dr. Laszlo Czirjak (on Scleroderma-Like Disorders), Francisco Castellanos, and Carol Langenfeld. Posted 01-24-06.
Stephen (Steve) Dickson: ISN Support Specialist. Steve has diffuse scleroderma, and lives in Lancashire, England. Sclero Forums provides free online support 24-hours a day to worldwide members. Posted 10-12-05.
Steve D: Diffuse Scleroderma (England) My symptoms started in 1993, when I noticed my fingers would start to get cold even though it was summer and the temperatures were mild…
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