Hi, I'm Laney from Jacksonville, Florida. Although my mother and I can remember symptoms starting when I was about 11 yrs old, I was first diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis when I was 14 yrs old and then a few years later, when I was 17, they determined I in fact had SLE not RA.

I've always felt pretty fortunate, as lupus patients go. Outside of a few serious complications and a couple of bad times, I've done really well managing my illness for most of my life and lead a mostly normal daily routine.

I did go through 6 years of the dreadful prednisone. Ballooned in weight and had a lot of other problems, then finally weaned off of it for good. Now I just do periodic boosts of it when needed. It's a great drug with horrible side-effects.

I really have been fairly good most of my life, compared to other lupus patients I've known. However, in the last year or so I've seemed to have a lot of little problems coming up - more rashes and joint pain. And then the last couple of months my joint pain has become so bad it's nearly unbearable. I'm fortunate to be able to work from home a lot of days, since I do most work from my computer. But it's very difficult and disheartening feeling so old when I just turned 29 last month. And to feel so isolated and alone at times.

My fingers, wrists and shoulders are almost constantly aching these days. Although joint pain has always been my main issue, I don't remember ever having pain anything like this before. And no anti-inflammatory has helped me lately - I swear I've tried them all. So now they've started me on Methotrexate, which is supposed to be great with joint pain. But you only take it once a week and it takes 6 weeks or so to start kicking in. So we'll see what happens - I just started it last week. I'm also taking Plaquenil, which I've taken since I was 14. I'm also on Zoloft now, which has definitely helped with my depression.

I'm single with no children and often wonder how in the world I would ever be able to take care of a family when so many days I can hardly care for myself. I really want a family one day.

It's nice to see this site and to have the opportunity to talk to other lupus patients.

Hope you are all well - Thanks for reading!

Take care,