Greetings from Montreal!
I'm so glad to have found this website! I was diagnosed with SLE on December 2005 after spending 6 months with atrocious joint pain, high fevers, swelling of my feet, rashes, hospital stays and numerous misdiagnoses. You know how it is....
I was first diagnosed with anemia, then with a form of poly-rheumatoid arthritis, even the doctors weren't completely sure about that diagnosis. But in the meantime the disease progressed and the medication wasn't helping either. It got so bad that in December 2005, my mom and I went to a different hospital and I swear to you, the doctor at the emergency room there diagnosed me within 20 seconds.
But the disease progressed so fast within the few days after my proper diagnosis that I had to be operated for a pericarditis and pleurisy: the surgeons removed 1 litre (approx. 2 US pints). The surgery went well, I took a semester off after the operation to recover and build up my emotional, physical and spiritual strength.
I haven't had a flare in a very long time, except for the typical rashes due to sun exposure, but then again, I'd take a rash over chest pain any day. Sure it can take a while to go away, but it doesn't hurt as much.
I've been through an emotional rollercoaster during the first 5 months of my diagnosis, but seeing a therapist, praying, writing, working out and talking about my fears to my loved ones really helped me develop a positive outlook on my disease.
I know that some lupus patients have it harder than I, but I still understand their pain and worries. There are many lupus patients in Montreal, but aren't that many support groups, so I hope that I can find some Montrealers on this site so we can get together and find other lupus patients in Montreal who may feel alone or isolated.
Like my sister told me once: You have lupus, but don't let lupus have you!