Hi group, I'm cathy..new to the forum..i guess im desperate here. its been a real rough year for me due to lupus complications. i have had lupus since i was 18; im 23 now. i never really had any complications until last year when my knees and hands started getting swollen and stiff. i had to quit work and stay home. but this year ive been in and out of hospitals because of low platelet count, i even had surgery to remove my spleen and nothing was working! but thankfully the platelets are at a normal level. but i feel so hopeless! i cant work because of the pain in my joints, i applied for disability but i want to work, i just want to go back to being healthy! im tired of taking medications, going to all these doctors. i want to be young and carefree again. sometimes its so hard for me to even go to school, its taken me 4 yrs to get my associates degree because ive missed so many days due to my illness. im on prednisone and plaquenil, which have made my face swollen and ive gained so much weight, i cant even look in the mirror and not cry. its so depressing....