Nuno Mendes

 

Let me start by giving a big smile to you all.   8D

 Hi! My name is Nuno Fernando Marques Monteiro Dias Mendes ( quite big, hey?), but you can call me

Nuno or as my friends do "Nunito".

I was born at 31 of August in 1971, in my hometown Coimbra. That is saying that im from Portugal ( you know! Brasil, Spices, Vasco da Gama...) and also a Virgo by sign and nature ;)

 My story begins when i was 16 months old and i start complaining about my left knee. At this point i must explain that i was lucky to be born in a family that almost all in the Health Career, my mother is a nurse, my father was a blood technician.

Therefore, when i started to complain about my knee, my parents realised that it was swollen and red, and took me to my pediatrician (I must say that for me the memories of those times are mainly of the pains, so this part of the story its "hear say"), after all the analisys made it was obvious that it was some kind of poly-articular rheumathism, after the knee, the pains and swellings started to appear in almost all the articulations, which made impossible for me to get out of bed during many of my childhood days.

The medication that was given to me was corticosteroids and an anti-inflamtory (AAS), that made the pains subside.

At 5 years old i had "miezelpops"?! (Sarampo) and believe it or not, the swellings and the pains disapeared, even without the medication. But that didnt last for long, im afraid, after one year it all came back. At that time my Pediatrician send me to Barcelona to see a doctor that was testing with Hydroxychloroquine Gold, hoping that i would leave the heavy doses of cortisone, but i did an allergic reaction and almost died, so i had to keep up with the medication as before.

Cutting this story short, i kept up with this all, untill i was 15. By then the Univesity Hospital of Coimbra (HUC), started appointments of Rheumathology, what was a blessing i must say, cause they took the cortisone, and replaced it by Salazopyrin and Naproxen with great results (i only wish it was sooner, cause by then ostheoporosis had taken all my joints, but as i usually say, one must not live on "if's").

 

Until 2 years ago, February of 1998, i was well, with no major pains, started working after my college degree in economics, and all went fine, but all of the sudden i started to feel my throat sweeling, but took it as a normal flew and took some antibiotics, but it didnt get better, and was worst at afternoons, after 2 weeks like this, i decide to go to my MD, and as soon as she saw me, she put me in the HUC for analisys.

By that time a rash started to appear, something that never happenned before, and the temperatures were near the 42║ C.By then it was the first time i've heard of Still's

I was in hospital for 1 month, with high doses of Medrol and Naprozyn, but at the end of the Summer 1998 i was out of Medrol and back to Salazopyrin and Naprozyn. Feeling well, i started to work again, but in October i took a fall and hurt my old left knee, and after a few months of pains and different advices, i went to Barcelona again to see a knee specialist (mostly in cases of RA). After what he saw he told me that i needed to replace both my hips and knees. 

At April 2000 i done my first hip replacement, and now im waiting for the following surgerys, and i only have pains in that knee.

Through this 27 years of illness, i've got to thank my family and all my friends for their support, and only have one advice to give: live a day at a time and as best as possible.

 Hope i was not too long (after all im only 5 feet tall 8D  !). Im here for anyone that needs encouragement (by the way forgive my bad spelling),

 Nuno Mendes

nfmendes@clix.pt

nfmmdm@hotmail.com

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