What can I expect?
I know that each case will be different, but I was wondering if anyone could share with me what I can expect as far as testing procedures? I am just starting my travel down this long road to diagnosis. So far I have had blood work done which resulted in a positive ANA test. Referral to a rheumotologist where I had additional blood work (double strand DNA test-whatever that is))and he did a urine test. Both of these came back okay, but at the time I was feeling great, except for bronchial pneumonia. In the past, I have had problems with recurring kidney and urinary tract infections, but my main problems seem to be centered around my lungs, skin, and joints. The rheumy wants to do more tests (he didn't say what kind) and also redo the previous tests. He wants to see me when I am symptomatic. Is this a common practice? I also have some lesions on my arms and legs which he more or less brushed off by saying that it could be a bug bite or something...it isn't. Does everyone suffering from lupus have the butterfly/wolf mask? Sorry...I know I have asked a lot of questions, but I would like to get personal insight from people who know. Any comments will be appreciated...Thanks! :? :? [img][/img]
Yes, each is different, but I suspect many of the labs are the same for all of us. I end up getting ANA, DS-DNA, CBC, urinalysis and a few others run about every three months. Wht can get interesting over time? The days when my ANA tests high are days I often feel good, when it tests low, I'm feeling like.... (insert your preferred expletive). Your doc is going to want to watch your kidney function, based on your history. The urinalysis and some of the blood tests will help there.
About 30 or 40% of us have the mask - when I developed a red rash on my face I therefore thought nothing of it. Turns out it is rosacea. So I have red cheeks but not from lupus.
Your doc wants to see you when you feel rotten because that way he or she can start developing a better baseline in order to treat you more effectively.
A good idea, as you start this road, is to read some of the posts on diet and lupus. Taking steps there, AND staying out of the sun, might help you feel better and stay at a more even keel.
Welcome to a group that understands the ups and downs, and shares knowledge, hope and laughter ~
Thanks for the reply...It's been one month, and so far I have felt fine...hopefully that will continue [img][/img]