Tonawanda News

Features

June 16, 2013

North Tonawanda resident tells story for scleroderma awareness month

For Laurie McIntyre, it all started with some heart palpitations.

The North Tonawanda resident had suffered from fibromyalgia, an auto-immune disease that can cause pain and many other medical symptoms.

“Anytime something is going on with me, I just blame it on the fibromyalgia,” McIntyre said. “But I just had this feeling in my chest where every time I was breathing deeply, it hurt. I knew something was different.”

She landed in the hospital for about four days and eventually developed an itchy rash on her legs. 

After lots of blood work and visits with a new doctor, the problem was finally revealed. McIntyre was diagnosed with scleroderma approximately three months ago.

“I was like, ‘Sclera-what?’ “ McIntyre recalled of that first doctor’s visit when she was diagnosed.

She knew nothing of the disease — also an auto-immune disorder — and even though she’s still in the early stages of determining the best course of treatment, she knew she had to seize the opportunity to help educate others this June, Scleroderma Awareness Month, by sharing her story.

Scleroderma — which literally translates to “hard skin” — is a chronic, often progressive, autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks its own body, according to the Scleroderma Foundation website. The disorder can cause a thickening and tightening of the skin, in addition to serious damage to internal organs like the lungs, heart, kidneys, esophagus and gastrointestinal tract. 

As the disease progresses, it can scar organs, leading to organ failure and death.

McIntyre said she’s still in the early stages of the disease right now and doesn’t have many visible, outward signs of its progression. 

“As far as my skin goes, I’ve had tightening of my skin on my legs and I use a real good lotion and that’s OK,” she said. “I have a patch on my chin that’s real dry.”

Text Only
Features
  • sig - critter companions RGB CRITTER COMPANIONS: Gardening with chickens

    There is no need to get mad as a wet hen if you want to juggle flourishing flower beds, viable vegetable gardens and free-range chickens.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - critter companions RGB CRITTER COMPANIONS: Let's unlabel our pets

    Several weeks ago, I mentioned how we should not use labels. I said that labels are circular, meaning that if we use them we just will end up where we started. An example of a label is saying that “all scarlet macaws are vindictive” or “all pit bulls are aggressive.”

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE Volunteers honored 1 040614.jpg Women Who Move the City (and beyond)

    April 7, 2014 2 Photos

  • SUN LIFE POUND 1040614j jpg.jpg Rock n' roll fitness

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - crib notes RGB Enough of this winter -- it's time for spring

    Midway through separating the bits of dog food from the shredded paper towel pieces on the saturated bed sheet that had been strewn across the dining-room table, I finally realized I’d had enough.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - critter companions RGB Dear readers, it's me, Kenny

    I have bad knees. I have been told to blame my grandmother. I have also been told to blame her for my love of animals. Today, we celebrate the 100th Critter Companions column.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE mummies 1 033014.jpg 'Mummies of the World' exhibit arrives in Buffalo

    As visitors arrived for the recent NCAA basketball tournament games in Buffalo, a much older group of visitors arrived via motorcade at the Buffalo Museum of Science — but these newcomers to the Queen City wouldn’t be seeking out a place to have a beer between games or where to find the region’s best chicken wings.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - double trouble RGB Years later, still spending sunny days on Sesame Street

    I always knew we’d hit “the Elmo years.”

    Going into parenthood, it seemed like a given. Both my husband and I  were “Sesame Street” fans from childhood ourselves, and we were happy enough to pass it on to a new generation. And we knew, having friends with children of the applicable age, that in this day and age “Sesame Street” equalled Elmo, the squeaky-voiced “furry red menace” (thus dubbed by Oscar the Grouch) of parents everywhere.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE Local Restaurant Week 2 033014.jpg Back for another bite

    As spring finally starts to unfold in Western New York, residents are likely eager to get out of their houses — and organizers of Local Restaurant Week hope they’ll consider eating out as they do that.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wineries invite visitors to take a Taste of the Trail

    If one weekend of food and wine pairings is a good thing, two weekends of food and wine pairings must be even better.

    For the first time, the Taste of the Trail event, which takes place Friday through April 6 and April 11 to 13 on the Niagara Wine Trail, will be split into two weekends, with half the trail’s wineries taking part the first weekend and half the second, said Elizabeth Maute, wine trail coordinator.

    March 31, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Facebook
Front page
NDN Video