I was diagnosed in 2002, at 44, after having severe fatigue for about
Before that I owned my own software development business (not a home consultant, a real company with real employees!), ran marathons, and was doing the final research for my PhD...wasn't a lazy person by any means!
It got worse before it got better - aches, pains, burning in joints, and worst of all, measurable cognitive dysfunction. Couldn't drive a car safely or follow a 20-minute sitcom. I was on plaquenil and prednisone from the start. Next are the 3 regular meds - Imuran, Cellcept, and MTX. Imuran did nothing for me personally and Cellcept was my miracle drug that gave me back my brain; so I didn't have to try MTX. Slept, rested and hurt my way thru the 2000's.
Today I am med-free. Not able to manage a company or run a mile nor finish my PhD, but my brain is back and physically am doing fairly well.
So, in short - it can get better, it can get worse, some meds that help others won't help you, some meds that won't help others will help you. It's a disease of 10,000 faces -- every case is different! -- so getting a good match in a rheumy is essential, as you may be working together for a while.
Good restorative sleep (you may need a sleep study or sleep medication, esp. if you are on prednisone), fairly healthy eating (regular, balanced, nothing extreme), and regular mild exercise (maybe just a daily walk to the mailbox) can help a HUGE amount.
Be careful with OTC meds/supplements - despite what the marketers say, they may be counter productive with your body and your personal med regime - always check with your Dr first, including if you drastically alter your diet.
Stay calm & don't panic!
Lynnwood, Lupus & Sjogren's Moderator, Dx: 2002DIAGNOSING LUPUS & LUPUS RESOURCES
"Life is far too important to be taken seriously." - Oscar Wilde