Carrie Richardson, MD – Rush University Medical Center

I see patients with all kinds of autoimmune
disorders, but my specific area of interest is patients with scleroderma, which is a disease
where there can be hardening of the skin or color changes in the hands. And then my other interest focus is myositis,
which is where people get inflammation of the muscles and that leads to muscle weakness. I encourage patients to look up their symptoms,
to get information, and come back to me with that information. And so if they find something online that
they want to talk to me about, I like when patients do that and come to me and talk to
me about what they’ve read. You can have a good life with these autoimmune
diseases. Ideally you want to be in the driver’s seat. And so, over time, initially the disease is
up front with you, but we help you move the disease to the back seat, so that the disease
is part of your life but you’re still in control. A lot of times what we see is patients with
severe untreated arthritis. Maybe they’ve been told that they have an
untreatable form of arthritis, and they come into me and we get them on the right medication,
and they’re able to go back to work, get out of a wheelchair, walk, go on vacation,
all of those things. Those are the situations where it is really
gratifying to be a rheumatologist and to be able to see somebody who didn’t have any
hope, and then you get them on the right treatment and they’re back to a happy, normal life.

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