Hello and Welcome, Catherine....
I am so sorry...you've been through more than any person should have to...and I'm sorry you've been having to suffer with the symptoms of JRA from such a young age...and then Lupus too. What a huge life struggle for you! Man, you need more than just positive vibes sent your way...you need a huge HUG and a shoulder to cry on. Sending gentle HUGS to you and my most positive, encouraging vibes....and I'll throw in a special prayer for you too. In fact, I'll put you at the top of my prayer list today.
I'm terribly sorry your recent flare is such an energy draining, debilitating one. I've had Lupus since I was 18 (27 years now) and I remember so well the low grade fevers day after day and the joint pains that moved to different joints every day and I understand exactly, the fatigue that can make you sleep for hours...this can all make you feel miserable and very ovewhelmed..and like it's never gonna end. It can quickly spiral you into such frustration and depression, especially if you don't have anyone close to you to talk with and share your feelings. Everyone needs that outlet to vent and cry and just tell someone how awful you're feeling. With this disease, it can make it even worse if you have to bottle it up and keep everything to yourself. That causes us great stress in and of itself. I'm sorry the one person you wish you could open up to, your mom, isn't an option for you...you're such a sweet daughter to try to protect her...and I'm sorry she has Lupus too.
You mention you've been on Plaquenil for your treatment and it's worked well up till now...Have you talked to your doctor/Rheumatologist about the severity of this particular flare and what you're going through? Perhaps he or she may want to adjust your medication dosage (I don't know if this is possible with Plaquenil, I've only been on Prednisone and Imuran), or maybe add another med for the short term to get on top of this. I'm certain there are some options for combining different meds to try to get on top of the worse kinds of flares. I would encourage you to give your doctor a call right away.
And I'm wondering if you've ever used a therapist or counselor, as a person to talk to about your struggles with your illnesses? When I reached a point with my Lupus where I just couldn't take the pain and suffering anymore and I was extremely overwhelmed and had no one to talk to that truly understood what I was going through, I finally sought help from an excellent therapist. And she was a Godsend...she helped me deal with my frustration with the disease, my anger at the world, my depression, and she gave me some great tangible ideas to incorporate into my day to day life with Lupus. I am of the mind that every person with Lupus should ask their doctor to give them a referral to a therapist...I believe we can all use their services at some point in our journey with Lupus. I feel like they are another important part of our team of doctors and professionals to help us with our treatment...actually, to me one of the most important after your Rheumatologist. I don't know what your insurance coverage situation is, but you might check to see if you have benefits for a mental health counselor or therapist.
Lastly, I'm glad you took the step and decided to join us in conversation on this forum and not just read from the sidelines. I'm positive you're going to find that the people on this site are the greatest for support and understanding and I know they will make you feel very welcome. There is always someone here to listen when you want to vent or share, or just plain throw your hands in the air and scream....we've all had the chance to do that. And this is a great place for acceptance for who you are and for whatever stage your Lupus and your life are in.
Please keep coming back and know that you've found a group of people that want to help you in any way we can...and will do our best to lift you up when you're down and encourage you through your days.
Catherine...you are in my prayers...