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scarbs02
06-17-2012, 05:40 PM
Hi, I am new to all of this. I am a 36 year old school teacher and am currently in my final year of a doctoral program. I had a lupus test 2 months ago. It came back positive and have had several other symptoms. But, other blood tests have come back great. I am confused and sometimes I don't know where to turn. I am constantly tired, headaches, swelling of hands and feet, rash on sides of my neck under my ears. Someone please tell me what I should do or if I even have lupus? I would greatly appreciate any feedback.

Thank you!!!!

scarbs02
06-17-2012, 05:50 PM
I forgot to add that my kidneys are only working at about 49%. I have kidney damage and they do not know why.

magistramarla
06-17-2012, 05:55 PM
Hi scarbs,
Welcome to WHL.
The testing for Lupus and other AI diseases is long and frustrating. There is no definitive test for Lupus. Read through the stickys at the beginning of the forums and you will find one that tells the criteria used to diagnose Lupus. If you have enough of these, the rheumy might say that you have it.
I'm assuming that your blood work showed a high ANA and unusual pattern. That is usually the way that most of us start on the path of finding out. Have you seen a rheumatologist? They will usually do much more extensive blood tests. Many of us learned that we have overlapping autoimmune diseases, since they love to run in packs (see the sticky listing the 60+ AI diseases). For example, I have an overlap of Lupus, Sjogren's, RA and Psoriatic arthritis. The Sjogren's showed up clearly in some blood work as high SSAs and SSBs.
There is also the frustrating fact that some of the folks in our group have all of the symptoms, but never have positive blood work - they are sero-negative.
You will need to find a good rheumy and work with him/her to find the right meds for you to relieve your symptoms.
Meanwhile, arm yourself with knowledge. Read through the old threads here and feel free to comment or ask questions. There is usually someone hanging around who will answer.
You are now part of a large, loving supportive cyber family. I'm a former school teacher myself. My hubby is working on his PHD.
Hugs,
Marla

steve.b
06-18-2012, 05:35 AM
hi scabs,
and welcome.
marla has left some very good information.
i just wanted to add my hello.