View Full Version : Introduce myself

09-04-2007, 07:14 PM
I am 33 years old and live in MA with my husband and 3 kids. I work part time doing medical billing. I am not sure if I have lupus or not! After having pluerisy 5 times this year I got an ANA test. It came back negative, titer was 1:360 and was homogenious?? I am having some anti-dna and anti-sm test done in a few weeks and will learn more after that.
I am tired all the time and suffer from a lot of headaches (not sure if that is related) I also have muscle aches in my low back, hips, neck and shoulders! But, no swelling!!!
At this time I would appreciate any information you can share with me!!

Thank you so much and have a great night!!
Colleen74 :wink:

09-04-2007, 08:05 PM
Hi Colleen :lol:
Welcome to our family. The fatigue, muscle aches, and headaches are quite common with Lupus and many of us suffer with them.
The ratio of your ANA (1:360) means the times they had to dilute it before ANA was no longer detected. ANA is seen in many auto-immune diseases, and so is not an indicator of Lupus by itself. There are other clinical and physical criteria which have to be present before a Lupus diagnosis is definitely made.
ANA titers go up & down during the course of the disease, & may or may not reflect disease activity. Therefore it is not always possible to tell from the titer how severe your lupus is. A titer of 1:80 or lower is usually considered negative.
The pattern of the ANA is studied by microscope. The technician examines a specially prepared slide that shows where antibodies attack the nucleus. Certain antibodies attack certain areas of the nucleus, producing four specific patterns. The rim (peripheral) pattern is the most specific pattern for lupus, while the homogeneous (diffuse) pattern is the most common pattern seen. The remaining patterns are the speckled and nucleolar patterns. In some cases the pattern helps the doctor decide which of the autoimmune diseases is causing your problems and which treatment program is appropriate.
You are not alone in your symptoms and we are here to help you as much as we can. Once Again...welcome to our family!

Peace and Blessings

09-05-2007, 05:17 AM
Thank you so much! I really appreciate her any information you can offer. The doctors are so funny! You might have this you might have that it might be nothing!! AHHH!! :D

I think that anti-dsdna and anti- sm test will tell us more.

Do you get pluerisy? I have it again! This is the 6th time this year. Suddenly had bad stabbing pain in my chest last night and into the shoulder. Last time I had it part of my lung collapsed because I could not take a deep breath. It is pretty painful.

How do you manage with your symptoms? Somedays I feel really great and others like I got hit my a truck !! But, I am still in the dark and not sure I have lupus.

Thank you so much again! I will keep you in my prayers! Take care

09-05-2007, 09:41 AM
No, I've never had pleurisy. But, it is very common for Lupus patients to suffer from pleurisy. Pleurisy is common in lupus. One of the things that Lupus does is cause inflammation throughout the body. Pleurisy in an inflammation in the lining of the chest. The symptom is pain - often a 'catching' pain on taking a deep breath. More severe forms of inflammation and pleurisy produce fluid, so-called pleural effusions. Any fluid in the chest takes breathing space away, therefore causing shortness of breath.
Painkillers may help to relieve some of the pain, at least enough so that you won't need to stifle the painful coughing that is necessary to loosen the mucus. Anti-inflammatory medications are often used as well as cortisone drugs. They are very effective in relieving the inflammation and the pain. The mainstay of treatment for pleurisy is managing the underlying disease (such as Lupus). For lupus pleuricy (pleuritis), treatment usually starts with prednisone - 10 to 40 mg per day. The dose of prednisone will generally be tapered, once your symptoms are under controll.
Some Lupus patients may show a slow or unsatisfactory response to steroids. At that time, cyclophosphamide or azathioprine may be prescribed.
Recently, however, several recent studies found a very good response rate to intravenous immunoglobulin for Lupus patients with pleurisy. Perhaps you can discuss some of these treatment options with your doctor - even though you have not been diagnosed with Lupus, the treatments should still be effective in managing your pain and reducing the inflammation. Some of the non-Lupus causes of pleurisy includes antibiotics for treatment because there may be an underlying infection.
Let us know what your doctor prescribes and how you are feeling!

Peace and Blessings

09-05-2007, 06:57 PM
Hi and Welcome Colleen,

Well, our illustrious and mighty leader of the lupus pack found you...and you will always be in good hands with SuzieQ!!

I have extensive lupus and have had pleurisy more times than I would like to admit. It is crucial that if you do indeed have lupus and you start having problems breathing to see your doctor....I know it sounds "dramatic"; but pleurisy can very often times go into pneumonia....and then the complications become critical.

Having brain, lung, heart, kidney, and liver damage...I have learned through trial and error to watch that I don't let myself get too tired nor do I expose myself to sun. During the cold season I have to wear masks to work (not fun...but is essential).

There are so many wonderful people here who are ready and always willing to share with you their wisdom, their successes and frustrations as well (we all have those days!).
I hope you will come to find this network of caring people an important part of your "living with lupus" life.

Again, welcome it's great to have another sister in the family!

Much love,

09-06-2007, 03:09 PM
Welcome, Colleen! So sorry you are having trouble right now - I hope it gets cleared up right away. I've never personally had pleurisy, but my mom has (she doesn't have SLE, though) and seeing her with it, I can't imagine keeping up with 3 kids at the same time!

I really hope things get better for you soon. Waiting for tests is hard, too.

09-10-2007, 10:06 AM
Hi Browneyed Girl!!
thank you so much for sharing all that information with me. I am sorry it took me so long to respond. I was in a friends wedding over the weekend and did not have a minute to myself.

I have a few more questions for you (I hope you don't mind)
I am always run down and get colds and sinus infections. Nothing serious but irratating :) Do you find yourself sicker than others?? I know with the lupus stuff you are obviously sicker than most I mean with the common stuff everyone gets. And ( I am going to get personal) I keep getting yeast infections! Constant and driving me crazy!!

Probably not related but I thought I would ask you.

I hope you are feeling better. I will keep you in my prayers!
I hate the pluerisy! So painful!! Stay healthy!!
And please keep in touch! thank you again! Colleen74

09-10-2007, 09:31 PM
Hi Colleen -

I know you were asking Browneyedgirl, but I wanted to pipe in that I was always sick with colds, sinus infections, etc before I was diagnosed. I worked with kids at the time and I honestly don't think I could do that again (I mean 12-18 different, often ill families per day) because I seem to get sicker easier than most. I seem to be susceptible to food poisoning and also had the yeast problems for quite a while.

Honestly and oddly enough, after diagnosis, with immune suppresants, I seemed to have an easier time. Granted, I had to stop working (ie no more kids!). But, things seem to be more level now. I do worry about when we have kids! They can be germ-machines!

09-11-2007, 08:03 AM
Thank you Missy!

For some odd reason I missed your first email! Sorry about that. I would have responded!! I have 3 small kids and the doctors are always telling me that is why I am sick! But, come on!! I can't get rid of them :)

I do think I have pleurisy again!! And the yeast might put me over the edge!! Other than that my only complaint is how tired I am! I was in a wedding over the weekend I think I could sleep for a year to recover!! HA!

How long ago were you diagnosed? If you don't mind me asking.
I will find out for sure in a few weeks. I have a few more blood tests scheduled for tomorrow. The waiting is not fun.

Please stay healthy!! And thank you again for your kindness! I really appreciate it! have a great day! Colleen74

09-11-2007, 09:39 AM

Don't you think it is weird having Lupus and SjS I do not get colds, the flu or the yeast? It has been well over 15 to 20 years I haven't had one. I just get everything else.

I did get the yeast once in my life, but that occurred because of an antibiotic I was taking.

Once I even got the mange. Yes, dog mange, not scabies. 1 in 1,000,000 chances a human would get it, so the vet I mean my physician said. Wondering how? Well, I purchased a Jack Russell Terrier puppy who apparently had it, and when it slept with me..all cuddle around my face the mites tried to make a home in my face.

Not knowing what it was I treated like a dermatitis, till it took over the my face and started to spread down my neck and onto my chest. I doused myself in R.I.D. as directed by the physician.

I guess the mites tried to set up residence in my hair follicles but not being a dog or cat it can't so it tries to burrow and dies off.

The puppy, it had it around it's eyes. I tried to make her well, but it was a sickly pup and I returned her to her breeder. Two months later, and now it has been 12 years I got Riley Mildred, my JRT.

Mange or a cold, humm...which one would've I rather had ...?


09-11-2007, 10:11 PM
What a story, Oluwa!!! Dogs can give you lots of gifts in life, but mange is not one I want!!

Colleen, I was diagnosed almost 4 years ago with Lupus Nephritis. I'm doing really well right now (knock on wood!).

I hope some answers come your way soon with the tests you are getting done and that the pleurisy gets better.

Take Care,