23 years old- recently diagnosed with systemic lupus... very discouraged....

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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/23/2011 6:20 PM (GMT -6)   
My symptoms started last october with severe shoulder pain/arthritis, I couldnt lift my arms at all, went to my regular doctor and they did some bloodwork ...i tested positive for ANA and they said i have an autoimmune disease but didnt know what it was... started me on prednisone and referred me to a rheumatologist (fresh out of med school) who later diagnosed me with rheumatoid arthritis and prescribed me plaquinil and began weaning me off of the prednisone (this was 4 months after i had started it)....after taking the plaquenil for 2 weeks i was rushed to the emergency room having myoclonic seizures,...my rheumatologist took me off of the plaquinil and then put me on arava.....one week after starting the arava, i was sleeping 20 hours a day and throwing up everything i ate,  anemia and severe malnutrition as a result and my albumin levels dropped so low that my leg muscles gave out and i couldnt walk for a good 2-3 weeks, missed a lot of classes, had to quit the dance team, etc.. ....i decided at this point that i wanted a new rheumatologist and found one with 41 years experience...he did a full blood panel and concluded that i have systemic lupus and started me on methotrexate which i have been on for 6 weeks, he also doubled my prednisone dosage to 20 mg a day .....two days ago i  had blood work done to check my liver function and he said that if everything looks ok with the MTX that i will be weaned off the prednisone starting next week...ive lost a good amount of my hair and i'm not sure if thats from the prednisone or the MTX, but i'm hoping it will grow back when i start doing the prednisone taper....
i dont really have a specific question about anything, just looking for help/encouragement/suggestions/advice...

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 7/23/2011 8:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome to HW,
I saw the letter UGA and was wondering if your at UGA? I'm an alumni.
So sorry you've had this bomb dropped on you. It fell on me this past Feb.
This is a wonderful group here and they have helped me a great deal with questions and support.

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/23/2011 8:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I am currently a student there , graduating may of next year with two degrees in political science and phiolosophy. ...I am very excited to have people to talk to about everything...its all been so overwhelming! Thank you for your reply, GO DAWGS :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 7/24/2011 6:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I just wanted to say welcome to the forum! I was diagnosed when I was 23 (I'm 25 now) and it sounds like you've been through so much. I'm in my 2nd year of graduate school now and I find that the mental symptoms are getting worse than the physical...I struggle with concentrating and struggling to find the rights words and I'm so forgetful now. It's difficult, but I'm optimistic :) I hope you start to feel better soon.
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