I have a little story to share. My first Rheumy was wonderful, but he retired. So I needed to find a new one. (I did, but he was not at all like my first Dr.) He re-tested me because he too was not sure I had SLE. Finally he said to me, "If you get two Rheumatologists together to talk about one patient, you will have three diagnoses, especially when it comes to Lupus!" So, through all of this I keep that in mind at all times.
I too do not show the "typical" symptoms of SLE. I have never had the butterfly rash and my ANA titer rarely shows Lupus activity, yet I have Lupus.
Colleen, do not ignore your cough! I did and ended up in the hospital for a week and off of work an additional week because I ignored the annoying little cough. I know SaySusie would be able to supply much better information about this. But what my Rheumy and the Pulmonologist told me is that Lupus can effect the lungs 7 different ways. One is an Asthmatic type effect, that annoying "little cough" I had since November was the indication that something was happening, until finally my lungs started closing up and I could not breathe. (It creeps up on you very, very slowly.) X-rays and CT scans showed the extent of the effect. Get yourself checked! I learned my lesson; do not ignore any of the signs your body is giving you!
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.