You ask a tough question, but it's the way I feel off and on - like I have the flu, but I know it's not the flu. There's unfortunately no answer to your question about how long can things be brewing. My lupus "brewed for years before my labs became positive, but because of a family history and friends with lupus, I was 95% sure that's what it was. But my "flu-like periods" were infrequent - once or twice a year and only lasted for a couple of weeks. I wish I could go back to those days!
So sorry you're not having a great day, but know that you are not being a downer. I just hope, as you do, that you get some answers and some relief.
SLE, fibro, renauds, restless leg, hiatal hernia, double vision, migraines, costocondritis.
prednisone, plaquenil, leflunomide, neurontin, synthroid, triamterene, actonel, niaspan, tri-est, cymbalta, tricor, acifex