Hi, my name is kaity. I'm 20 years old. I've always experienced strange symptoms that seemed to be unrelated to me, and I always chalked it up to other issues of mine that I know i have, or just assumed I was being paranoid and dramatic.
Well, late December or very early January, I started to experience joint pain all over, which gradually got worse and worse. I've always been one to crack some joints every now and then nothing excessive, but i felt pain and stiffness literally all day, so I've been constantly cracking and popping everything I can in hopes of relief. I figure it would just pass and I'd tough it out. I was and still am extremely fatigued, experience excessive daytime sleepiness where I cant help but drift off, headaches, I've always had gastro problems since as long as I can remember, and many other various symptoms. I decided to go to the doctor once I started having hunger pains, yet found nothing appealing and if i were to eat, i felt like i would vomit and then lost about ten lbs in about a week or so. I found that a little alarming so I went to get it checked out.
Anyway, he said i probably have an ulcer and based on my symptoms I may have an autoimmune disease such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, so he took blood work. Few days later i found out that my ANA levels were only slightly elevated. So, he referred me to a rheumatologist.
That was about 2 weeks ago. On this past saturday, I had to go to a walk in emergency care clinic because I was in very intense pain which made me unable to sleep the night before so I was exhausted and in very bad pain. The doctor there said that I have hypermobility of the joints and that I have caused arthritis in my shoulders already. He seemed like a quack to me honestly. He said he thinks im too young for such problems and doubts its lupus or anything like that, and said he thought it was an STD that causes joint pain and such. so he did a pelvic exam and also took blood work. He called today said my blood work came back and I was completely negative for my ANA levels and rheumatoid factor, so that it is NOT an autoimmune disease. He is going to get the STD test results back either tomorrow or thursday and he'll let me know.
That made me super irritated, since I have found online and actually via this site that your ANA levels do not need to be elevated to have lupus.
But, I have my Rheumatologist appointment tomorrow....
I'm pretty nervous and stressed out about it. I know something is wrong with me, it is NOT normal for a 20 year old to be experiencing this much pain and other such debilitating symptoms and im stressed thinking that no one will be able to give me any answers.
Also, im nervous because I have no idea what to expect at my appointment tomorrow.
If anyone has any insight, words of advice, or can help educate me more about lupus, these blood tests, and what to expect at my appointment tomorrow, it would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you for taking the time to read all of my story.