Jan Wiesen first received the “unusual and scary” diagnosis of scleroderma in 2009. Although she initially didn’t like to say the disease because she didn’t want to own it, Jan, her loved ones and medical team have rolled with all the changes scleroderma has brought.
Over the last 11 years, scleroderma has changed the way Jan looks. It’s also changed how she feels. On a day-to-day basis, Jan struggles with chronic pain, lack of mobility in her hands, secondary Raynauds and occasional flares (where nearly every part of her is in pain).
Through it all, Jan counts her blessings and is grateful to have support from her husband, family and friends. Her rheumatologist has also been an extraordinary help with managing the disease. She remarks, “I have been told by so many people that I seem amazingly positive and happy in spite of scleroderma.”
To Jan, the most difficult part of having any disease is asking for help when you need it. “I speak up now, and it works so much better.”