Thursday 22 June 2017

Jan Petrie Procter, UK. June Scleroderma Awareness Month 2017. Raynaud's, Autoimmune Rare Disease. Patient Profiles DAY 22

Jan Petrie Procter, UK

Patient Profiles DAY 22

June Scleroderma Awareness Month 2017  

Raynaud's, Autoimmune Rare Disease
Jan Petrie Procter, UK

Name:           Jan Petrie Procter 

Location:       Shrewsbury, Shropshire 

Diagnosis:     Diffuse Systemic Sclerosis, Raynaud's 

Year of diagnosis:    July 2014

Age at diagnosis:     44 

Where / who diagnosed you?

Royal Shrewsbury Hospital

What were your presenting symptoms?
Digital ulcers 

I was diagnosed with CardioMyopathy (Heart Failure) in 2012. Until that time I was extremely healthy and had had no major illnesses. 

The cause of the heart failure is still unknown although my doctors have suggested the most likely cause is having contracted a virus at some point.  

Managing my heart failure took a couple of years but eventually we got the condition pretty much under the best control possible and life continued, albeit I had to stop work for a while due to my health.   

Approximately one year on, in 2013, my fingers were very painful, with increasingly severe ulceration. 

Tips of a couple of fingers were black, others had digital pitting. 

A number of visits and pleas for help to the GP and also the practice nurses came to nothing.  

In desperation, I was doing my own research into the problems I was dealing with regarding my fingers, such as extreme pain when I had hardly knocked them.   

I was then rushed into hospital in an unrelated incident, and happened to have a doctor see my fingers, I was immediately admitted to hospital, where I stayed for five weeks – yes five long weeks in the middle of the summer – not knowing what was wrong – why I was there – with very sick people – and feeling sicker than ever, myself!

Current reality:  

From there on, I have been diagnosed with Scleroderma and Raynaud’s. 

I went into hospital to receive a course of Iloprost Infusion – which entailed a one week stay, with limited success. The cold weather is a nightmare for my fingers, and I am often seen wearing plasters on several, if not all, of my fingers.   

Nothing works for this, and I have tried everything including heated gloves, hand warmers etc. If my fingers are cold, they are cold, even if the rest of me is warm. 

I have been approved to receive Illoprost treatments whenever my fingers are bad, or in the autumn as a preventative measure. 

I have problems receiving sufficient Illoprost though, as it makes my blood pressure drop so low (55/45 at one point). 



I have telangiectasia – red marks on my face, chest and a couple on my shoulders. Currently I have a tan which really helps to cover them and although I intensely dislike them, there are worse things to have.  

I have exceedingly dry eyes – waking up in the morning my eyes are unable to open until I have used eye drops to lubricate them. I also use a gel at night before I sleep, but this has limited effectiveness.  

My skin is very dry – its kept manageable by using products like Aveeno. I moisturise my face at least three times a day.   

My hair is so thin now, again, something I intensely dislike, but just put up with.   

Many dental problems – my gums are receding, I’ve had five teeth out in the past two years.
I have to rest during the day – a little nap after work is absolutely essential if I am to do anything in the evening (ie cook dinner or participate in family life).   

I have regular appointments with my rheumatologist and cardiologist, just for check ups. We have planned an Illoprost infusion for November.    

Work have been absolutely fantastic. I have a heater right next to me, and my poor boss must despair at the temperature sometimes – most people who walk in to the office comment on the temperature.

I work on a RAF base in the military transport maintenance section. The support which I have received within my team, is probably the main reason I have been able to continue working, flexibly around my symptoms.   

My current biggest challenges include:   

Managing to do normal things with such painful fingers eg. typing, opening jars, washing hair etc  

I hate the way I look when my skin is particularly tight, dry, sore and flaky   


My wishes for the future:   

Yes, sometimes I feel desperately frightened for the future. Googling symptoms, life expectancy, outcomes, etc has previously sent me into a pit of depression, but in general, I think I tend to manage my symptoms, probably not as well as I should, as I think do have a tendency now, to bury my head in the sand to some degree.   

But my philosophy is – there are far worse things happening to far better people than me. I have been lucky- it could be so much worse.

I am so, so, fortunate to have a wonderful support network of family and friends (despite the fact that I pretty much never mention my illness and just hope that they understand when I have to pull out of events etc).

So, it’s ever onwards to the next adventure – who knows what’s around the next corner – for me, it’s a diving trip to Egypt in four weeks – I will not give up.  

Love to you, especially Nicola who is a constant source of inspiration. I can’t wait to read your stories too.        

Huge thanks go to Jan for sharing her scleroderma reality and experience for scleroderma awareness month.   

To read more about why I chose ‘Patient Profiling and Research’ as the focus of my 2017 campaign, Click here    

Why Research and Patient Profiles? Scleroderma Awareness Month 2017, Raynaud's, Rare Autoimmune Disease, Click here   

2017 INDEX Scleroderma Awareness Campaign Patient Profiles, Click here    

INDEX to Scleroderma Awareness 2016 Campaign, Click here     

June 2016. 

To read my articles: 

Rare Disease Day 2018, Research - Taking Part in Clinical Trials, Click here   

March Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month 2018, Click here   

Global patient video, Click here   

Becoming a Patient Research Ambassador for the NIHR, Click here  

If we only had more RESEARCH investment for Scleroderma, Raynaud's, Autoimmune Rare Disease, Click here   

Scleroderma Awareness Month 2017 Patient Profiles Campaign, Click here     
Scleroderma Awareness Month 2017 Patient Profiles Campaign Patient Index, Click here        
The Pandora’s Box of the rare autoimmune disease Scleroderma, Raynaud's and Cancer, Click here

Key Event Dates 2018, Click here     

Importance of an Early Diagnosis, Click here     

Taking Part in Clinical Research Trials, Click here    

The Importance of a Multi Disciplinary Medical ‘Dream Team’, Click here 

Expert Specialist Centres, Click here      

My Skin is Cured from Scleroderma, Click here      

UK Guidelines for Managing and Treating Scleroderma, Click here      

Fatigue, Click here      

Mobility, Click here    

Diet and nutrition, Click here     

Raynaud's, Click here    

World Scleroderma Day 29th June 2016, Click here

World Scleroderma Day 29th June 2017, Click here   

Why Global Collaboration is important to the Rare Disease Patient, Click here      

The theme to this years Rare Disease Day is Research

Rare Disease Day 2018 – Research, Taking Part in Clinical Trials. Scleroderma, Raynaud's, Autoimmune Rare Disease, Click here     

2016 Rare Disease Day Patient Voice
2016 Rare Disease UK Parliamentary Reception   

2017 Rare Disease Day Flashback  

Rare Disease Day is a fantastic opportunity for the entire rare disease community to shine a spotlight on their reality, combining as one unified voice. Where, at least one commonality presides –  
Medical Research provides the brightest light
for the illumination of the rare disease patients’ plight. 

I highlighted other areas of medical research interest within Week 3 of my Patient Profiles Campaign for Scleroderma Awareness Month 2017. 


Although rare disease patients are few in number, eg. 2.5 million scleroderma patients worldwide, (the World Scleroderma Foundation), the commonalities and golden hallmark for each rare disease patient are the same: 

Early Diagnosis
Expert Specialist Centres
Access to Innovative Medicines

Where MEDICAL RESEARCH investment is VITAL.

Research is the key. Abstracts from 2016 World Congress, Click here

Scleroderma Awareness Month Campaign 2016, Click here


View video, here   

Preamble - here

The Family Day at the Scleroderma Unit, The Royal Free Hospital is taking place on the 19th May 2018. Browse the program, here

This year, I am celebrating 20 years of being a patient at this world leading expert specialist research centre. 

Sept 2017

I am eternally grateful to the global scleroderma trail blazers Dame Prof Black and Prof Chris Denton, whose commitment and dedication to unlocking the scleroderma enigma, is nothing other than, superhuman.
I am truly humbled and inspired by their work ethic. I am wholly appreciative for Prof Denton’s continued medical expertise and support, especially during my barrister qualifying years, 1997 - 2004. 

1st March 2004, I qualified as a self employed practising barrister. Further to having been told in 1997, by my diagnosing doctor, that I was looking at a 15month prognosis. 

I very much hope to utilise my professional skills and qualifications along with my patient experience, to help achieve the #SclerodermaFreeWorld dream, hoping to improve understanding and best practice, in the meantime.
For latest updates follow: 

Facebook Page:

Twitter: @SclerodermaRF  @RaynaudsRf  

#SclerodermaFreeWorld           #RaynaudsFreeWorld
#ADAM #Scleroderma

Living the dream, scleroderma style.  

Please DONATE to help fund medical research at The Scleroderma Unit,The Royal Free Hospital, London.  

100% of your monies will be used for medical research purposes only. No wages or admin costs. Thank You.


Last Update: April 2018


  1. Nicola, as I am unable to find a support group in the Shrewsbury area, I wondered if Jan Peteie Proctor would be interested in making contact for support. I can supply my phone number. She may feel she needs someone who understands to talk too at times. I have limited scleroderma and know I am one of the lucky ones with this disease. Thanks zclaire

    1. Hi Claire - I have just seen your comment!!... DO you use Facebook??