10-28-2006, 07:02 PM
I had been suffering from, now when I look at the list, symptoms of Lupus since March of 2001. I recently went to a doctor of internal medicine, and following having initial blood work done was contacted and told that Lupus had showing in my blood. I'm 33 and work for the State of NM, and having read up on it am now terrified. The fear comes from the fact that my parents are the type who love to believe I'm lying and therefore are about as much support as a toaster. The few friends I have, though they know of my condition now, I don't know how well they'd handle the idea of being there when it flares up. As I've been dealing with the pain and fatigue it causes now for 5 years, I seem to have an understanding of what causis them in my own case. :cry:
10-29-2006, 06:38 AM
Lupus can be frightening and confusing, especially when you're first diagnosed. I wasn't sure from your post if you have actually been diagnosed, or if your lab work indicated the possibility of lupus. Unlike many diseases, there is no one specific test for lupus - it is diagnosed by a combination of symptoms and laboratory tests.
Omce your doctor starts you on treatment, you may notice that the pain and fatigue improvement. Plaquenil is often the first drug prescribed for lupus without organ involvement, but it can take up to six months to start seeing improvement. Your doctor may prescribe other medications depending on your specific medical condition.
Lupus is a lifelong condition, as of now, there is no cure, but there are many treatments available to manage the disease. Many people with lupus have mild disease with no organ involvement, and with treatment, often live relatively normal lives. Lupus is a disease marked by periods of flares (when the disease is highly active) and remissions (when the disease is fairly quiet). There are certain thingas that can trigger flares - stress, fatigue, and especially sun exposure can all trigger flares. Most lupus patients are very sensitive to UV light (sunlight, tanning beds, indoor halogen or fluorescent lights are all UV sources) so sunscreen is a must. As you learn what particular things may trigger flares for you, the disease will become easier to manage.
Even though the list of lupus symptoms is very long and frightening, no patient will have exactly the same symptoms, and some people have only mild symptoms. So it's important not to be afraid that you will develop every single symptom or complication listed - otherwise, you will spend more time worrying than living. Becoming well-educated about this disease is the best way to learn to manage it, and to also manage your fears and concerns about the future. And remember there are always people here to turn to for support.