I've been hanging around here for a couple of weeks now just trying to find information to back up my self denial, and it didn't work. I can't deny it any longer - I HAVE LUPUS, I guess. ':?'

It all began with pericarditis attacks, a month apart for 4 months, beginning mid-April, 2 weeks after I'd broken my foot. Each time, including the broken foot episode, my PCP prescribed a pred. dosepak. He also had all the proper tests run and finally, after the 4th attack, referred me to a cardiologist. She ordered a heart cath, and the day of the cath I had another attack before the test began. That was convenient, because she got to observe what was going on and run other labs. One was an ANA which was positive. ( I had been dx with Hep C 7 years ago, had a positive ANA then, did interferon treatment for a year, and was declared in remission.) She immediately suspected lupus, put me on 20 mg pred. and referred me to a rheumy. He ran the same tests 3 weeks later and they were all negative,':?:' but put me on 400 mg plaquenil anyway, along with the 20mg pred. My PCP had referred me to this rheumy 3 years ago for problems with pain in my heels, and he diagnosed Sjogrens, without doing any labs, and had prescribed plaquenil. I'm not a pill-taker, and I didn't take it because I was smarter than he, and decided I didn't need it. And now I'm back to the same rheumy, this time I promised I'd take it. I still didn't think it was necessary, because I felt fine, (and I knew I didn't have lupus! I've never been one to baby myself - unless I was totally incapacitated, nothing could stop me from "getting the job done. (I DO have a very high threshhold for pain.)

So.....the pred had given me tons of energy in the beginning and I worked like a fool doing spring cleaning, working in my 1 acre yard full of flowers, but then at the end of Aug. I suddenly found myself unwilling, and almost unable to get out of bed - all I wanted to do was sleep, which I did for nearly 2 weeks. AND sweat!! I've always been a 'sweater', but this was ridiculous., So at that point I blamed it on the plaquenil and cut the dose back to 200mg a day. (My next rheumy appt. wasn't til Nov 27). I gave it a few days and nothing changed so I went back on 400 mg. - (my rheumy will be proud of me!) In the meantime I decided to learn more about lupus symptoms, and I still denied it - yes I had precarditis , but nothing else. It wasn't until I looked up support groups and started reading on this forum, that I'm finally convinced.
Do you think I might have had a "flare" in late Aug. when I was so tired.? I simply didn't have the strength to lift an arm, or walk across the room. The heavy sweating, weight gain of about 16 lbs (in 3 weeks) , the moon face, unexplained backaches and bruising - it all started at the same time, nearly 2 mos. after going on pred. We had driven to northern NY (from So. GA) to bury my mothers ashes and attend a high school reunion, then to MI to see my in-laws. It was a hectic week and a half, and the day after we returned I had promised I woud drive to Tampa to stay with my 12 yr. old grand daughter for a week while her parents went on a 20th anniv. trip. It was an insane week, running her to drs, dentists, guitar lessons, school, shopping, etc. And HOT!!! I moved furniture, painted her bedroom, did yard work, thoroughly cleaned the house, etc. Could this have brought on my first "flare?"

Today is the first day I've even felt like writing, but I do keep reading, and I hope you will allow me to join your group, ( and ask stupid questions!) I'm 64, retired, and live In south Ga. I'm married 25 years, and have 2 sons in their 40's. I guess I'm the "grandma" of the group!

Keeping you all in my prayers.... Karen