Hello everyone,

I am new to this site and to Lupus. It has been a long hard road getting to a diagnosis, but Friday I was told by a rheumatologist that I had Systemic Lupus. I read some of the previous posts about being hard to find a good doctor. My primary doctor is actually a nurse practioner and I am very pleased with her care. She is the one who found my elevated blood levels and thought I had lupus or RA. I chose the closest city and unfortunately the doctor was not very pleasant or helpful. I have been battling fibromyalgia for over ten years and have hepatis C antibodies. The rheumatologist said, "How did you get Hepatitis?" I tried to explain that is was antibodies, but everytime I would say anything, it would be dismissed. He seemed relieved when the tests came back negative for Hepatitis. I only went back to find out the results of my tests, since the first visit was almost $400.

I knew nothing about Lupus until the first mention of it at my primary doctor's office. I still know very little, but it seems that when I mention it -people feel sorry for me. Since I have endured so much pain and fatigue with the fibro, I am at a lost of what to expect from the Lupus. The rheumatolgist asked if I wanted to take Plaquenil. Actually, he asked if I wanted to add ANOTHER medication! I said no, but my husband piped up and told him of my extreme pain and suffering. The doctor then handed me a paper and told me to read and sign it. I asked about a sentence that told about affecting bone marrow and when I asked about that, he once again dismissed me, by saying that never happens. He rushed me by handing me another paper to sign while I finished reading the one. He did say that if I take the Plaquenil I would have to take a letter (he scribbled really fast) to my eye doctor the next time I go. Fortunately, I had just come from having my eyes checked and had to go back to pick up my husband's glasses. I gave the letter to the optomolgist and he said that the test should be done prior to taking the medication. I go tomorrow for the remainder of the eye exam for the baseline for Plaquenil. The only thing the rheumatologist offered in way of instructions was to stay out of the sun or use sunscreen and a hat.

Besides finding a doctor that cares and has good communication skills, what else should I be doing?

I did see my chiropractor yesterday and he would not use the electrodes after the treatment because he thought he remembered that lupus patients should not do that. I asked about my TINS unit and he said no to that too.

I could use all the help I can get.

Linda