Hello! My name is Cynthia Cervantes and I am 12-years-old. I am a seventh grader in California, and my favorite subjects are history and math. In my spare time, I like reading, watching TV and playing school with my little sisters.
My experience with scleroderma began more than a year ago when I suddenly would get weak, my body ached, and my vision was getting worse. Some days it was hard to get out of bed. My feet got so swollen that calcium would ooze out. That is when my parents took me to the doctor.
It took the doctors awhile to ﬁgure out what was wrong with me, but last October they determined that I had scleroderma. I was really surprised at ﬁrst because I did not know what scleroderma was. All that time, I thought my symptoms were related to a ﬂu that would not go away or maybe from playing in the dirt too much. I felt sad because I was told I would have to wear gloves all the time and my ﬁnger tips began to hurt.
My life since then has changed. I can no longer eat foods I used to eat. I also had to change from drinking regular milk to soy milk, which I do not like very much. Basketball is one of my favorite sports to play, but because I get tired it is harder to keep up with the other kids.
A day in my life is very busy. I wake up early to take my medications and get ready for school. After school, I have to eat again and take more medicine. I take even more medicine before bed. On Saturdays, I have to drink this yucky vegetable juice because of my scleroderma. My mom says I have to drink it because it helps with my medicine.
Living with scleroderma can feel strange at times because I am the only one who has to wear gloves and a jacket, even on a hot day. My bed is angled because it helps me to digest my food better. Every month, I have to see the doctor and get more shots, which I do not like. Luckily, the doctors and nurses who treat me are really nice and funny.