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Thread: Intro: just got ANA blood test today

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default Intro: just got ANA blood test today

    Hello all,

    I've been dealing with health problems for over a decade now. The trigger was when I almost drowned at the Lake. I spent 10 days under observation at the hospital, and don't remember about two weeks total. I'm starting a blog, and this experience is the first entry: Formative Experiences.

    My memory faded back over about six months. I tried to build up my endurance with jogging, but pounding the pavement gave me headaches. So I didn't go running anymore. I caught up in my classes (after missing the first week), graduated from high school, and left for college at a "New Ivy" science/engineering school in upstate New York.

    My health rapidly deteriorated over the next 4 months. The pain was triggered by the laptop I'd just received (an IBM Thinkpad with an eraser-shaped pointing device in the middle of the keyboard). I thought I had "carpal tunnel syndrome". Eventually I went to the health center. The Physician's Assistant tested me for carpal tunnel, and said I didn't have it. He gave me a prescription for double-strength ibuprofen and said I needed to exercise some more. I did more research - maybe I had a "Repetitive Strain Injury"...

    A couple internet sites said relaxation was beneficial for just about any health problem. So I spent as much time trying to relax as I could, but was never successful. Except this one time... After a year and a half of misery, my mom set me up with a woman who did a specific type of massage. I saw her three times during my second collegiate spring break, and at the second visit I just melted into the table. Sweet, blissful relaxation! When I went back to school, my typing problems were much better. But only for a couple days, then I was worse than before.

    I'm just going to gloss over the next few years... Went to the campus health center again, but saw the doctor. He said I needed to exercise more, and offered me occupational therapy (where someone would evaluate my desk/chair/etc). I wasn't interested, so I started going to different doctors. Doctor #3 said I needed to exercise (I played racquetball in college, and shoveled snow, did yoga for a semester, etc - nothing intense, but it's not like I was totally sedentary). Doctor #4 said there was a chiropractor down the street who did good work for some of their patients. Remember that I'd self-diagnosed "repetitive strain injury"....

    I branched out into non-pharmaceutical medicine. I went for chiropractic adjustments, massage, cranio-sacral therapy, acupuncture. Nothing helped.

    Then I found a modern day mystic in Oregon. She read me like an open book, and after a few sessions she said I'd find my own way soon. A few months after that I found a doctor who was able to release stored injuries in my body with a specific type of hands-on work.

    ... But after a year and a half, I still couldn't relax. So I spent the next 3 years still trying to figure myself out.

    Just the other day my wife, who can be rather intuitive at times, said "maybe you had/have an auto-immune condition, not a 'repetitive strain injury'." I called up the doctor who'd done the most for me. He ordered the ANA test, and I just had the blood drawn today.

    I''ve looked into Lupus a little bit, and many of the symptoms seem to fit. Joint pain, swelling, cold hands/feet, etc. I'm not nearly as bad now as I was, but it would be nice to have something that shows that I wasn't just making it all up.

    James Knochel

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Victorville, California
    Blog Entries
    Thanked 1,128 Times in 743 Posts


    Hello James;
    As you read through many of the posts here, you will find that many of us (like you) suffered from symptoms of Lupus for years before we finally got a diagnosis. Also, like you, most of us just wanted to know that there was a name for all of the things we were suffering from and that we were not insane. So, you are not alone! I, personally, think that I suffered from Lupus since my early teens, but I was not officially diagnosed until I was in my 30's.
    Most doctors do not consider an auto-immune disorder when we present them with our multitude of symptoms. You are very lucky that your wife is so insightful. For many of us, like you, we are told that it is all in our heads, that we need to exercise, or that we need to see a psychiatrist.
    You have come to the right place in order to learn as much as you can about Lupus and/or other auto-immune disorders. You should know that, it is very common for us to have more than one over-lapping auto-immune disorder at the same time. I suffer from Lupus, plus Fibromyalgia, plus Raynauds (very cold extremeties), and several other disorders. There are some members here who have both Lupus and MS (our Moderator Rob is one such member). If you are educated about auto-immune disorders and your doctor is thorough, you may find that you, too, have more than one thing going on.
    In any event, we are here to help you as much as we can. We are also here to offer you understanding, comfort, and a place where you are safe to freely express how you feel. I am glad that you found us and I hope that we can help you to navigate through this!

    Peace and Blessings
    Look For The Good and Praise It!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Blog Entries
    Thanked 81 Times in 70 Posts


    hi james,

    welcome to whl have found a group of wonderful members who are ready to be your friends. There is a magnitude of knowledge among our members, and we are always here to help when needed. When you get your lab results back, please don't hesitate to ask any questions. We have all been through the "scratching our heads" when trying to decifer what the numbers mean....

    good luck, and i agree with saysusie, you are lucky that your wife is so insightful. Supportive loved ones make our lives a little better....

    share a smile today

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