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Thread: More questions than answers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Default More questions than answers

    Hello. I don't yet have a diagnosis. About 6 weeks ago I started having stiffness and pain in both hands. I took naproxen for a couple of weeks, thinking it was probably just some osteoarthritis, but it didn't get better. In fact, I started having pain in my toes. I am 60 a y/o woman, have always been very healthy, and am very active(I've ridden almost 2000 miles on my bike this year.) So, I went to the doctor, who also initially thought I was just starting to have some osteoarthritis, gave me an rx for 20 mg of prednisone for 5 days, and lab orders for an arthritis panel. Two days later, he calls and tells me my ANA was very high(1:1280) and said we have to rule out lupus. The tests for RA were negative. So now I have a referral to a rheumatologist in a week. This whole thing has thrown me into a tailspin. The weird thing is, from reading this forum and other sites, most people have other symptoms, feel really crummy, extreme fatigue, etc. I have had no other symptoms. I feel fine other than this. No unusual fatigue, fever, nothing. It's just joint pain in hands and feet. As long as I take the naproxen it pretty much controls it, although the stiffness and pain in my hands never completely goes away. I didn't take the naproxen for a few days and it got really bad. In the morning I would have severe pain in my feet and hands. It hurt to walk and hurt to do anything using my hands. The longer I was up, the better it got and by evening I would have almost no pain/stiffness. Two doses of naproxen later, it had improved greatly. By the way, as far as I can tell, the prednisone did absolutely nothing. So far, nothing I have read has sounds like my experience. Everyone seems to have lots of other symptoms and really feel sick. Furthermore, I know that being diagnosed after 55 isn't real common either. Has anyone here had a similar presentation? Does this really sound like lupus? It seems that between the very high ANA and the joint pain, some AI issue must be going on. I'm really wondering what impact this is going to have on my life. Will I have to give up my cycling, and become unable to do other things I love, like playing guitar? More than anything, all this talk about cognitive issues terrifies me. Can treatment prevent it? Ok, I know I'm rambling. I know people here aren't doctors, but I also know there is a wealth of knowledge through personal experience here. I really appreciate any responses.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Thanked 34 Times in 23 Posts


    Hi, if this is lupus then maybe it's at an early stage and treatment can hopefully keep it from flaring into something nasty. I had joint pain in the beginning and was told it was RA, I hate meds so I didn't take them and I did pretty well for a couple years,then I got so sick and after many admits to the hospital they finally dx me with lupus. Good luck, hope you can get your answers

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Ontario, Canada
    Thanked 10 Times in 9 Posts


    Hi jean,

    When I get joint pain it is so weird.... It rotates around....

    I will be crippled in one joint (perhaps my right wrist) for about 24ish hours... To the point that I can't wash my hair, can't write, etc, feels like someone took a hammer to this one spot bc it hurts so bad and the boom.... No pain for an hour or two and then boom, the pain is in an elbow joint.... So bad I have to sling it, so bad I can't sleep from the pain....

    Keep the cycle and rotate it around to knees, wrists, elbows, from left to right and that was how I spent last may and June.

    I have heard that's the common joint pain for us lupies. Hope that helps and all the best to you!!!!

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