This is what MCTD does

I don’t have the photos from my allergic reaction three years ago available to post today, but I will post (some of them) soon.

I do have some random iPhone pics I have taken over the last few weeks whenever I spot a flare or something else going on … mostly because I want to document it here. So — here are a few of those — and I do plan to continue to try to photograph flares and other reactions and post them here.

I will try to find the photos from my reaction and blog those soon too.

skin peeling on finger

So. This pic is from today (May 18, 2012). My finger was swollen, tight and sore for several days last week — and now its rough, dry and peeling. You can’t really see it — but the circular spot that’s pretty evident is not the only place it’s peeling … it goes almost all the way to my palm along the finger. 


Here is my finger when the swelling began – about a week ago


Here is a pic of some swelling in my wrist. I never know whether it’s the Lupus, MCTD or Palindromic Rheumatism that causes the flare. I also never know where it will hit (elbows, knees, fingers, wrists, limbs, etc.) or how long it will last. This flare only lasted a few hours. Sometimes they last days and require a doctor’s visit. I typically use hot/cold compresses, ibuprofen, and wrist guards/knee wraps for support. The only way to describe a major flare is it’s dibilitating. Feels like its broken. Thank God this was a minor one.   


Here I am in my new “Lupus Sucks” T-shirt. The concept is that Lupus “sucks” because it sucks your energy, sucks your health, sucks your finances, sucks your time — and so on.


Here’s a magnet I bought that Warns of what NOT to say to me, lol!!!

 After all that negative — please let me encourage you! 


There is always still lightwith an autoimmune disease!

There are still strong bonds of friendship!


There is always room for new relationships with autoimmune diseases! 

There is still room for adventures  

LoveThere will always be room for children and Love with an autoimmune disease! 

New lifeThere will always be  joy with an autoimmune disease! 

There will always be work (maybe not paid) but none the less — and yes, I did interview Vince Dooley for the paper I work for — and YES — he is as sweet as he looks!


There will always be room for silliness with an autoimmune disease!

There is still room for exercise



For beauty! 

For life! 

Remember – your sickness DOES NOT define you, YOU define you!

And always remember :

“Storms make oaks take roots.”
~Ancient Proverb

An update: While I was writing this blog my doctor called. Thus far all my blood work came back normal. Still waiting on the platelet test. Will let you know as soon as I hear something.

Until next time friends.




About Imkjac

I love my work. I also love the following things: God, my boys, my family, dogs, cats, writing, photography, reading (a bit of a lit geek actually), cooking, being outdoors, hiking, fishing, film, music, Spotify, beards, tattoos, board games, TV (also a TV geek), Netflix, pajamas, antiquing, interior decorating (DIY), blankets, polar bears, art, food. I dislike these things: elevators, heights, unclear water, bridges. Thanks for reading my blog and hoping it brings some comfort and joy to others.
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4 Responses to This is what MCTD does

  1. amoran79 says:

    I just wanted you to know how much you inspire me in my battle with lupus. Strength is definitely not something you lack.
    Thank you-
    P.S. BTW, where did you get the ‘Lupus Sucks’ shirt? It is fantastic!

    • You are too sweet. It means the world to me that I’m able to at least inspire someone. If I can’t do that — then what is the point in fighting, right. I hope today finds you feeling well. Keep up the good work — if you’re still truckin, you’re winning the battle!!! 😉 Oh … and check out this link for some other Lupus goodies. Some pretty cute stuff, including the Lupus sucks shirt!

  2. antje kipp says:

    Hi! I’ve only just discovered your blog. I never have TIME for the computer, have a son just diagnosed with a coonective tissue disorder, I have R.A., kind of have been rolling with it- no TIME. Docs are dumping my son right and left, thinking of getting him a parchute for the next time he has to bail. It’s getting worse- his pain, at only 15 and a jock, it’s more than depressing, a new pain a week easily. YOUR SWELLING on your wrist- I HAVE THOSE. No one, not one doc has been able to tell me what the bloody h*ll those are- various places, wrist, behind the knee- so, so painful. My son’s disorder supposedly genetic, he was just scanned for a pain behind the knee. It did NOT occur to me ( duh ) could have been ‘ that’. Would you mind, please, telling me where to find more information, what it is connected to, which flares your are connected to- if it isn’t too nosy? Mine are the same thing, varied time span, hours or days, been days lately despite methotrexate, Humira and the arsenol of usual weapons. Thanks for all this, pleasure to read and stay strong. 🙂

    • antje kipp,

      I wish I had more answers for you. I have been battling the system (doctors/specialists/you name it) for years now. I went through multiple diagnoses before they finally decided to treat me for Psoriatic Arthritis, asthma, MCTD, celiacs, sjorgen’s, fibromialgia, Hashimoto’s, palindromic RA and also anxiety/depression/panic disorder.
      I was also diagnosed at first with Lupus (notice my pale skin whereas I used to be a sun goddess, lol), RA and other autoimmune-related diseases.
      My son also (13) has just begun complaining of shooting pains in his arms/hands and continuous pain in his hands and fingers, exactly like me.
      I’m never certain which is causing me to flare and I (for the most part) have just accepted that medicine is in fact a practice and the doctors may never know exactly which disease came first or even which is causing swelling or pain.
      There comes a time where you have just exhausted all your efforts in search of answers and need to just accept the fact that there are some questions in life that you will never have the answers to. It takes a weight off of your shoulders and gives you the opportunity to then focus not on what is causing your pain or flare-ups and rather focusing on treating the symptoms themselves. Does that make any sense?
      Obviously, I am not a doctor or even an expert on autoimmune diseases, but I do have personal experience with them. I’m not saying to quit searching, I’m saying to let your mind be at rest and begin focusing on the symptoms. I do believe Psoriatic arthritis is what causes my nodules, similar to RA. And are you familiar with Palindromic RA? That may be causing some of your swelling (and your son’s). Here is some information on that. INFOways
      I hope I’m not running you in circles, for I fear you, like me … are beginning to doubt doctors. It’s not hopeless though friend. There are doctors out there who will treat symptomatically and my advice is to find one and stick with them. I also take methotrexate and Enbrel shots each week (similar to Humira I believe, but taken weekly rather than bi-weekly.) The shots help tremendously with the pain, but my nodules have yet to disappear. My Rheumatologist recently explained to me that it’s tissues within my wrists that become inflamed and at times hardened. Although I haven’t seen him yet since last going on my meds, I believe the flare I am currently experiencing is due to the shingles that is now permanently in my system. All of my doctors seem baffled at what to do and keep bouncing me back and forth saying that I need to address it with my other doctor. My family doc says to go to my rheumatologist and my rheumy says to let me regular doc treat it. It’s a vicious cycle and I am so sorry you also are having to go through it. I will send up some prayers for you and your son. Keep searching for answers as long as you can (it comes in waves for me similar to my symptoms) and when you have exhausted efforts … be still. Sometimes that’s really the only answer.
      In love and peace!

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