View Full Version : I am 42 and freaking out

Just me Debi
03-23-2008, 09:02 PM

My name is Debi, 42 f from Salt Lake City Utah.

I was just diagnosed with lupus, not so happy bout that. It was my family doctor as well as the cardiologist who gave me the news. Anti dna as well as sed test not so good. I have an appointment with a Rheumatologist but its a few weeks out.

My question is this. I have almost all the symptoms for lupus what donít understand is my pain. I feel as if I am having a heart attack I mean its bad it literally take my breath away, can last for a few hours a hole day and can carry on for a month or more. It will sometimes, will give me a break of a day or so. Then, outta no where I cant hardly walk, I wake up in the morning get a cup of Joe and feel as if I had ran some super marathon. Pain deep pain starts and my lower back and goes all the way down. But my chest pain is gone. I have yet to have both at the same time, trust me I am happy about that, I donít think I could handle both. I am a tuff cookie but man this is sick and wrong. So is it typical that lupus can just move wherever and when ever it gets the urge? Evil! And for the love of corn, why does my chest hurt so badly. My heart is fine. Does this mean lupus is going to cause damage to my heart? Ok thatís enough questions this post.


03-23-2008, 11:14 PM
Hi Debi,

Welcome to a family of support for lupus patients. Trust me, many of us if not all are not happy about it either. We have good days, bad days, and better days and try to cheer, listen and have empathy.

You have to accept it and move forward the best you can.

It sounds like you have chronic fatigue syndrome along with Lupus "feeling like you ran a marathon" is typical. Chest pain could be either costchrondritis (sternum pain and sternum is swollen) usually on the right side of your chest.

Pericarditis is on the left side of your chest by your heart. Saysusie can help with this one, but I believe it is when your heart is surrounded with fluid. Low back pain sounds as if you may have fibromyalgia which typically effects Lupus patients.

Most doctors will start one out on Plaquenil. prior to beginning meds, you will need an opthamologists appointment for a baseline Plaquenil scan along with check-ups every 6 months. Plaquenil will help with the joint pain. If you do have fibromyalgia, some doctors will rx Flexeril to relax teh muscles at night so you may get a restfull sleep.

Write a list of all your questions prior to seeing the rhuemy. Also, document all of your symptoms and show the doctor.

Keep us updated. I hope this has helped.

Take care,

Faith 8)

03-24-2008, 09:06 AM
Hi Deb;
Faith pretty much hit the nail on the head with possible explanations for your pain and fatigue. It is quite common for Lupus sufferers to also have overlap diseases, like Fibromyalgia. I, myself, suffer from Lupus and Fibromyalgia. While many of the symptoms are similar, their are some distinct symptoms of each.
Both can cause painful muscles, debilitating fatigue and painful joints. The pain in your chest is most likely due to Lupus and, as Faith said, can either be due to pericarditis or costchronditis. Also, Lupus can affect the lungs which can cause pain in the chest area. Lupus is a disease of inflammation and many of us suffer from inflammation around the heart (fluid build up) which is preicarditis; inflammation of the rib cage area (costchronditis) or inflammation of the pleura - the moist, double-layered membrane that surrounds the lungs and lines the rib cage (Pleurisy).
It is important that you let your doctor know about this pain so that he can determine the exact cause and start treatment. As Faith noted, treatment with prednisone is very effective for each condition listed above. However, there are other treatments that may be used in conjunction with Prednisone, depending upon the cause.
Please let us know what you find out and how you are doing!

Peace and Blessings

sick n tired
03-24-2008, 11:28 AM
Hey Debi,

Welcome to the forum. I am 46 and was diagnosed in October of last year. When I look back it seems that I have had this for some time, however.

Sorry to hear that you are in so much pain. pericarditis, pleurosy, and/or chonstronditis can be very painful there. I don't think that any of these are serious, but you really need to tell your doc about it. I read that you have a cardiologist, maybe you should call him for some peace of mind.

I'll be praying for relief and answers for you,


03-24-2008, 12:34 PM
Hi Debi,

I have pain that "migrates" to different areas. It's all pretty random. I do get persistent chest/rib pain and it is due to costochondritis, inflammation of the connective tissue in the rib cage. It can be alarmingly sharp, sudden, and is enough to make me physically wince in pain. As painful as it is, it's not supposed to be damaging. I have been taking plaquenil for about a year now, and it has helped. I also take naproxen(aleve) with food to help with inflammation. I have to be careful though, as the naproxen can cause stomach problems. There is a wealth of good information here, and alot of experience. This site has helped me with so much having to do with SLE. It's a great place for info and support. Welcome.

03-24-2008, 01:13 PM
Welcome Debi -

Sorry you had to find us for this reason. However, there are terrific people here to offer you comfort and support. It can be a little overwhelming at first. Do write down your concerns, questions, etc. to discuss with your rheumy. The more information you have, the more empowered you will feel to fight this thing.

I wish you well today.


03-24-2008, 02:04 PM
Hi Debi,

Adding my welcome to the chorus :)

I have chest pain in my left side. For awhile I thought I was having you know .. the big one. The pain got really bad and I finally drove straight to my doctor's which was not the brightest thing to do if you think you are having a heart attack...turns out I wasn't. LOL Thank goodness but it is arthritis in my rib cage. It's in two places. One the side and in the front.

As the others have mentioned there are many reasons for the chest pains. Right down everything you can about them. When the pain is the worst, when it's not so bad. What movements seem to aggrivate it. Does deep breathing affect the pain. Just anything you can think of...it helps the doctor figure it out.


Just me Debi
03-24-2008, 09:39 PM
Thank you all for the support and knowledge. It means the worls to me that I have a place I go and ask and learn. Thank you again. Loves Debi

03-24-2008, 09:56 PM
You are most welcome. Remember, we are here to help you as much as we can and in any way that we can. There will always be someone here when you need us. You are never alone and this forum is filled with understanding, informative and caring people!!

That Is Our Reason For Being!!

Peace and Blessings