Hello Everyone,

My 16-year old daughter has just been diagnosed with systemic Lupus. Over the past six weeks or so, she had been complaining of joint pain. She had gotten sunburn in early August while playing in a soccer tournament, and we thought that she had sun poisining. After a couple of weeks, the red "burn" did not go away. She hid it with make-up, so it was difficult to see.

Her joint pain became worse. Her fingertips went numb and were discolored at times. She has sores in her mouth. Her muscles ache. She gets a low grade fever at times.

She is already on .5 milligrams of Prednesone a day, and just started the Plaquinil. (I'm not sure if those spellings are correct.)

Needless to say, we face a future with guarded hopes and lots of prayers. I hope that you don't mind a Dad posting to this board. I know that my daughter has much to come to realize in the days ahead, and I would like to know as much as I can about this disease. My greatest fears involve potentially watching my young, energetic, pretty, and atheletic child wilt like flower before my eyes.

My daughter plays competitive soccer, and is on a nationally, highly-ranked team. I am afraid that this physical game that she loves will not be possible soon, but I hope that I am wrong. Can anyone shed light here? Is it still possible to play atheletics at a high level?

I realize that I must stay positive for her sake, and I also know that the flares can be somewhat manageable. I guess I believe that a person with Lupus must stake their claim on the disease, and not let it stake its claim on the person.

I find it odd that she has been struck by Lupus so quickly, as neither my wife or I know of any close or distant family that have had Lupus. Three months ago, my daughter did start taking an oral contraceptive in order to regulate her unpredictable menstrul cycle.

We wonder if the initiation of an oral contraceptive may have had some kind of impact on her in regard to the start of Lupus. Can anyone shed light on the issue of hormonal change due to oral contaceptives and the onset of Lupus? Our rheumatologist said that there is no corrolation, but from what I have read recently no one really knows for sure.

I would take this disease upon me instead if only I could. Even though my daughter has only been diagnosed for four days now, I already feel her pain, and all of your pain too. I will pray for you. I am hopeful for better days ahead for my daughter and for you. Keep the faith.

A Dad