Hi, I'm Susan and I'm new to the world of Lupus. I'm quickly learning that this is a very serious disease as I've been hospitalized twice in the past month for things I would've never believed I could possibly have. First it was blood clots in the lung and this time for fungus (like thrush) that's coating my esophigus causing breathing difficulties and chest pain. Apparently the Prednisone starts it and the Lupus makes it thrive. I've only known about the Lupus for about three months but have been seeing doctors for Fibromyalgia for years. The Lupus explains so many of the strange problems I've had over the years. I'm still trying to get my head around it. First it was the butterfly rash and my ana numbers and now my numbers are normal but everything else is going crazy. It seems like half the time someone thinks I have it and then half the time I may not. I know I have it. I can check off about 9 of the 11 symptoms and my primary doctor has no doubt that I have it. It's so strange. I've fought Fibro for so long I was ready to just deal with it, get back to work and go on with my life. After working for a week, the butterfly rash broke out and before long all my joints were on fire and the fatigue literally was dragging me down. My rheum doc put me on Prednisone and I felt like someone poured life back into me. Unfortunately, as I decreased the dose, my energy decreased. Now, three months later the side effects of the 20mg of Prednisone is giving me really bad side effects so I have to cut it down as far as possible. I'm on Plaquil (sorry - whatever the spelling is). I asked my doctor if I should just lay off all of the Lupus meds. He told me that there was the slimmest chance that might work but I stand a much higher chance of renal failure and organ damage. Obviously, I'll be staying on the meds. I'm glad I found this forum. I need to learn more but for some reason I can only ingest the smallest amount of information at a time regarding Lupus. The fibro is horrible enough but to add Lupus, I just feel like it's all too much. It also makes me face my mortality and at 47, I'm not ready for that. Thanks for listening! I'm usually a very up and silly person. I just don't know that I'll be that person in this particular setting. I need one spot I can actually share my fears and vunerability.