Hello to all,

I am 26 yrs old and my body is no longer my own. Late Feb early Mar I became strangely ill. I'm going to attempt to tell my entire story. If it gets too long, I apologize...

For some reason my left knee and calf was in an extreme amount of pain. I generally have problems with that leg because my cartilage is worn there. Its very rare that I medicate for pain in my left knee. But this pain was different. A week had past and the pain was much worse and it was both legs hurting. I swore my legs were swollen but I wasn't sure. Anyway, I took some Aleve to help with crippling pain that wasn't allowing me to stand longer than 20 minutes. The next morning my left wrist forearm and right palm(thumb area) swollen and very very painful. I took another Aleve. That night, I became itchy on my shoulders and hips. I noticed blotches (I later learned they were hives) popping up all over my body. I went to the ER. They put me thru a battery of tests, and couldn't decide what was wrong. So they gave me medications for an allergic reaction and to fight an infection. I went home and took the medicines but my symptons worsened. My entire body swelled. I had either a rash or hives all over. Two days later, I went back to ER. Nothing was determined again. I was told to stop some of the medications (didn't really matter because I had finished most of them) to only replace them with others. Three more days passed, I was feeling a little better. Then I woke up with a completely swollen face!!! Back to the ER I went (different hospital this time.) This was the most excruciating visit. They told me the were waiting for ANA test results to come back. In the meantime, I was tested for every STD known to man. I had gained 30 to 40 lbs in 9 days. I was miserable. They released me from the ER but they gave me all of my bloodwork results. I was instructed to find a doctor who could pull my records and read me my results. It took 5 days to find a doctor who would let me come in ( I don't have insurance..another looong story). By the time I got to the doctors office, a lot of my swelling had come down I was still carrying an extra 15 lbs or so. Doc read my results and said my ANA was positive but the numbers were low, so he didn't believe it was lupus. He recommended I see an rhuemetologist asap. Well, I didn't, mainly because I didn't have any money. After the swelling, hives, and rashes went away I still had pain. It was always somewhere different. It jumped from my feet, ankles to my wrists or thighs and calfs elblows jawbones knees, basically anywhere. Oh yeah, bright light was very uncomfortable.

Two months have passed and I am scared again. Last Wednesday the soles of my feet and my ankles began to hurt so bad walking was very difficult. My legs and arms began hurting again. I am a saleswoman in a Dept store, I went to work Friday at noon. By four, I went home because my ankles were the size of golf balls and my feet looked like balloons. I woke up this morning at 3 am because my hands felt like they were on fire. I have a little bit of swelling in them but nothing like before. I haven't been to the hospital yet, but I plan to(still no insurance). I have said all of this because I am searching for some comfort. Does what I've said sound anything like lupus (or any other disease)?

Uncertain and hurtin'