Sunday, March 1, 2009

Myositis Diary

I have recently contracted an inflammatory myositis. I don't know what lies ahead of this disease, but I want to begin chronicling the events surrounding the onset of this disease so that I can have an accurate recollection of its progress, treatments, and effects.

I will start with some basic background about myself. I am a 31-year-old female living in Fayetteville, AR. I am a campus recreation program administrator at the University of Arkansas. I have always been very healthy and active. I enjoy long distance running and have competed in marathons and ultra-trail races.

The only scar on my medical history is a child-onset case of alopecia. Alopecia is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks its own hair follicles, resulting in baldness. I experienced small, recurring bald patches on my scalp for several years beginning around the age of 8. Hair has re-grown and fallen out in cycles, but the general progression has been toward total baldness with no re-growth as I have gotten older. For the last several years, I have been completely bald, including eyebrows and eyelashes, as well as body hair. As with most autoimmune diseases, there is no cure, only cycles of remission and flare.

Autoimmune diseases are nebulous and erratic. Symptoms of various autoimmune diseases can overlap each other, and having one autoimmune disease can predispose someone to developing another. This fear has crossed my mind occasionally, but has never been realized until this point. As previously mentioned, I have been blessed with good health, strength, and fitness thus far in my life. I hope to regain it all once this new disease has been addressed. Until then, however, I am finding myself in uncharted territory as I progress through unknown treatments and prognoses. I do not know what tomorrow will bring, nor how I will feel in one month, 6 months, or a year. This journal serves to chronicle this journey. Please feel free to email me at if I can help anybody by discussing this disease. I know that sometimes it helps just to ask someone else who knows where you're coming from...

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