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How My Autoimmune Disease Is Like an Octopus

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Ten years ago, when my rheumatologist diagnosed me and finally put a name to my mystery illness, all I felt was gratitude and relief.

My doctor told me it was an autoimmune disease called undifferentiated connective tissue disease (UCTD). He described UCTD as having overlapping symptoms of lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and myositis without it being any of those more well-known diseases.

I had a name, (a name so long it warranted an acronym!) that explained the pain, weakness and fatigue in my left leg. To hear it was an autoimmune disease and not a fatal illness (before diagnosis, other specialists had tested me for cancer and leukemia), seemed like absolutely fantastic news at the time.

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