Hi. I wanted to introduce myself. I believe that I may have lupus. I have had many problems for many years. The Drs always blamed it on stress or just aging. While I believe the problems started as early as my teens...I was never diagnosed. I had Hepatitis B at about age 10. They believed that I caught it in the hospital. In high school, I had mono (who didn't). I was always abnormally tired. In my early 20's, I was diagnosed with Epstein Barr. I have always attributed my fatique to Epstein Barr. I started having some serious abdominal pain in my mid-30's. This went on for about 4 years with no diagnosis (lots of horrible tests). Finally, the pain didn't go away so they performed emergency surgery. My large intestine was twisting. The surgeon said that the tissue was quite damaged so he could see that it had been going on for a long time. Anyway, they took out about 25% of my large intestine. Recovery was long & the fatique continued. I had 2 more surgeries after for adhesion problems. I have been diagnosed with Acid Reflux Disease (years ago). Last year, I had an Endoscopy & they said that I have Barrett's esophogus. About 2 years ago, I had surgery on my face for basal cell cancer. Again, after the surgery, I just never seemed to recover any energy. I have other symptoms as well, back pain, neck pain, swollen lymph nodes in my neck, migraine headaches, fuzzy head (I have seen referred to as brain fog), low grade fever alot of the time, inflammed & bleeding gums, pain in my left hip, right shoulder and knee, swollen hands, fingers, and feet, reddish-purple spots on lower legs & arms (exposed to the sun most). I think that is the general symptoms. About 6 months ago, I had a period of vertigo for about 2 weeks. After that passed, I had pain around my right eye. My GP sent me immediately for MRI & MRA of the Brain and eye. She suspected an aneurism. Thank God, that came back O.K., no anerism or tumor. However, I continued to be plaqued with the pain, as well as the other symptoms. She first referred me to an Opthomologist who said that my eye was fine. She then referred me to a neurologist. He didn't know what was wrong with me but prescribed Prednisone. It was amazing! My symptoms completely disappeared within 2 days. I felt better than I had felt in 20 years He started me on 30 mg per day & reduced it every week. When I got to 15 mg. per day, the symptoms returned. The lower the doseage got, the worse I felt. When I went back to see him, he referred me to Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. I had appointments with an Internist, 2 Opthomologists, and finally, a Rheumatologist. They ran alot of tests. My ANA came back slightly elevated. That was the only result that was outside of the "normal" range. I have not been definatively diagnosed but Lupus is a concern. The Rheumy agreed to increase the doseage of Prednisone to 20 mg. a day for a month, then 15, then 10, etc.
He also prescribed Lyrica, which I just started taking. I feel better, although not as good as I did on 30 mg. of Prednisone. I have to go back to Mayo to the Rheumy in 3 months. He is referring to a neurologist there too. He said something about a nerve test? Anyway, I feel better just knowing what may be wrong with me. After reading everything about Lupus, I finally feel like we may be on the right track. At least, maybe I am not crazy