Hi Nurse - it really is surprisingly disturbing, isn't it? My rheumy said "Well, I'm losing my hair too.... when I told her about it (the old "you're making too much of it" routine) arghhh! The labs drive me crazy. But I thought it was common for them to change (get better) after treatment, especially with Plaquenil. I think the Plaquenil actually helped stop some of my hair loss.....at least the slow down began after I'd been on it for a few weeks. I'll be anxious to see what my ANA is at after 6 mos. on Plaq. Did you ever have hair loss before now? I hope your hands feel better. I have that problem intermittently. Sometimes in the morning I can't make a fist and they are all puffy and clumsy. It gets better as the day wears on. Can't hold the phone without getting pins and needles, though. Good luck w/ your appt. next week - I hope you can get some help!