That's a man for you.....hormones. That's one of the reasons I don't want to discuss this with my husband. I guess I gave a very condensed version of what has been going on. Maybe I am just being paranoid. ...but these symptoms started over ten years ago. Actually I was told as a teenager that I was allergic to the sun. I get rashes and even sometimes swelling and edema in my face with a poison ivy look reaction. My eyes have even swollen shut. I have a history of anemia. I have had pain in my joints, mainly hips, knees and shoulders (for over ten years), now hands and feet are involved. My feet and hands are constantly cold. I hurt if I don't wear socks, even in air conditioning in the summer. My hands hurt from cutting up cold foods. My hands also hurt from gripping a knife to peel potato's or apples. I can no longer crochet. Two years ago I started having angina and welling in my hands and eyes. My GYN sent me for an ekg and stress test. I told him about this only because we were in the process of adopting a sibling group of five children and I wanted to be certain I had nothing seriously wrong before making that commitment. The test showed nothing was wrong. I still have chest pain occasionally where it hurts to breath in. A few times I have felt like I was on the verge of a stroke. In the last year I have been having memory problems and confusion and yes overreacting to things that I normally would not. I just haven't been myself and it has been scary. I have not talked to anyone about this....my husband just assumes it's hormones and raising 9 kids too! I went to the rhuematoligist to hopefully get started on meds for the joint pain. It has become so bad that I walk with a limp. My Dad and mom have Rhuematoid arthritis and told me how much the meds help. I have been just taking lots of ibuprophen. it just wasn't helping enough. Actually lupus doesn't sound as bad as other possible things I have imagined...cancer. If it is Lupus I can live with that. I just can't stand the thought of my family having to live with it. My kids do help out. Eight of the children came from orphanages in EE and were very accoustomed to helping. Seven of the nine are teenagers....all great kids and a real blessing. Their main needs are emotional. They have suffered much neglect and abuse. I also have a very high maintenance five year old with allergies,asthma, eczema and ADHD, possibly also FAE. I have tried the last few years to pace myself in order to get things done without making myself sick. If I get overly tired I almost always end up sick. Hopefully this isn't Lupus, but I want to be prepared and have a plan on how to manage it without stressing the family. Based on the blood and urine tests done and my knowledge of my past history I can't keep from thinking the doctor's guess is correct.
Hi! Your symptoms and history sounds much like mine prior to my diagnosis. My symptoms started years b-4 I ever heard of lupus when I was a teenager (hip pain, anemia, sever joint pain, constantly cold hands and feet, especially when handling cold objects). I thought, at the time, that everyone was going through what I was going through, so I never discussed the symptoms with anyone. After my lupus diagnosis, I started thinking back about those symptoms and discussed them with my rheumatologist who agreed that they were probably related!
I suffered the angina so often that I was convinced that I was having mini strokes! To this day, I still walk with a limp due to pain in my left hip!
I am not familiar with the memory problems or confusion. This may just be a result of your stressful situation (trying to handle all of this alone, plus raise your adoptive children, maintain a home, be strong and be brave) That is much more than a perfectly healthy person can handle! No wonder you are having periods of confusion and I wouldn't call it memory loss - I'd call it memory overload! You've got too much going on all at one time for one head and one heart to handle!
I noticed that you are over the age of 40, Are you on estrogen? If so, check with your rheumatologist because estrogen has been known to radically worsen Lupus! This can be a catch 22 for women over 40!
I agree with St. James that you should not panic! Do seek a second opinion and give a lot of thought as to weather or not you want to continue to keep your health issues a secret and bear this alone. This may cause you much more stress than having your loved ones aware of your concerns. I cannot tell you what to do, but I do hope you carefully consider the consequences of keeping it a secret!
You are correct in wanting to be prepared and to have a plan should you have a positive diagnosis for Lupus. However, your level of stress is of much more importance to the illness than is the level of stress on your loved ones. If you take care of yourself, you can be there for them. But, you have to take care of yourself first.
Keep me posted