Posted 6/17/2008 5:38 PM (GMT -6)
Welcome. I am so sorry that you have to deal with all this "fun" at such a young age.
I wanted to say that my symptoms had me going to an allergist for several years before lupus began to be suspected. I had the rash, but, even more alarming was the throat and tongue swelling.
I have now been diagnosed with lupus, and severe allergies. There are so many triggers that I just stick with the few foods I can eat and the few meds I can take. I also carry both an epi-pen as well as a bottle of epinephrine and empty syringes to self-inject, thus avoiding an anaphylatic reaction. I only use the epi-pen if there is not enough time to load a syringe and inject the epi. (I hate the pens). But, it took years of seeing the allergist and many trips to the ER to convince the good doctor that a little bit of epi from a syringe was much better than the pens.
My PCP, rheumy and allergist have all worked together over the last 5 years coming up with a plan of treatment. I guess the concensus is that, for whatever reason, my overactive immune system treats almost everything I come into contact with as an allergen. That, in turn, triggers a lupus flare.
Lupus seems to affect all of us differently.
I hope you get some answers, soon. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Just remember that this whole diagnosis/treatment thing may take a while.
Once you get a handle on what exactly triggers your flares, you will learn lots of tricks to deal with and avoid these triggers.
Make sure you stay well rested (I know, you are 17, easier said than done).