Cathy Ledsome


Hi!  My name is Cathy Ledsome and I am 28 years old. I have been happily married to Mike for 2 1/2 years.  (We dated for 5 years before we got married.)  We have a sweet and demanding dog named Shelby (7 1/2 yr. Dalmatian).  She thinks she is a person! :-)  I teach second grade at an elementary school that is about 10 minutes from our house.  I am the "team leader" so I have 6 teachers that I "lead".  I love teaching and I think the kids have kept me going during the past couple of years.  This spring I will be taking my last 2 classes toward my Master's Degree.  (Reading is my specialty.)

I have had Still's Disease for 2 1/2 years.  The symptoms first began in late March, 1997.  During March of that year, I was a little stressed out due to the fact that I was planning a wedding, building a house, teaching, and my Dad was very sick with a heart condition.  I suppose the stress may have helped trigger the disease.  When the symptoms began, I thought I had the flu and I couldn't shake the feeling.  Then I started to have joint pain that would migrate from one joint to the next in no specific pattern.  The week of my wedding I was in so much pain I walked very slowly and had trouble turning my head.  I went back to the doctor who told me it was in my head, but they would do blood work just to make sure.  I hate to admit that I was thrilled to have the SED rate come back elevated.  (It wasn't in my head!)  The doctor gave me a steroid pack for the wedding and honeymoon so I felt great.  (I did break 2 toes on the second night of our honeymoon, but that is another innocent story all in itself!) 

During the next couple of months, I traveled from doctor to doctor without a formal diagnosis.  Finally, the spiking fevers began in early October and then I started to have some swelling in my knee and elbow.  I was finally diagnosed in mid October.  I was initially put on Gold shots, but they did not work and I ended up hospitalized in November.  I was switched to Methotrexate and I have done fairly well since then. 

The meds seem to control a lot of the pain, but the damage continues.  I had to have both my left hip replaced in June and I just had my right hip replaced in December.  The only other problem that I have been having lately is a terrible stomach problem!  I am not sure about what is causing it!  It is terrible and it is interfering with my life!  I work hard to try to keep a positive attitude about my life and the disease. 

I am looking forward to getting to know the members of this support group!  Thank you in advance!  I can be reached at

Cathy Ledsome

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