Hi everyone! I am 37 and was diagnosed with UCTD in November last year and since then I have been on Plaquenil, first 400mg then 300mg and Prednison (first 5mg, then 10mg then 15mg, then tapered of at the end of May, then symptoms came again and I am on 5mg since beginning of August). I also take Pilocarpin for my sicca symptoms as well as ointments and artificial tears for my eyes. I take multi-vitamin, Omega 3, Calcium+vitD. I eat healthy and do yoga regularly (mild forms, such as yin, therapeutic, restorative, etc).
My symptoms included pain in the hands, wrists, elbows, feet, ankles and knees, "funny" ("electrical") feeling in forearms and feet, numbness (especially during the night), carpal syndrome (I wear brace), Raynaud, net-like rash, sicca. At the beginning, before therapy was introduced I also had malar rash, was photosensitive, had oral aphtae and ulcers, and had very strange swelling of my face and lips.
At the time of diagnosis, I had low C3 and ANA IFA speckled positive. All other tests were negative and have remained so. ANA IFA was also negative in April (I was in remission that time).
Lately, I also suffer from dizziness - all the vestibular tests are ok, MRI is ok. It feels like experiencing an earthquake or living on the boat. I was diagnosed in Europe and moved to the US few months ago.
Since 2009 (or maybe even earlier), I have been experiencing extreme fatigue and brain fog. I have been fatigued all the time. Fatigue completely ruined my life - at that moment I thought I was depressed, my psychiatrist diagnosed me with reactive depression, but she said that it was very atypical. She put me on anti-depressants for half-a-year, which made me feel much worse. In the process, I was diagnosed with PTSD and went through CBT and EMDR. However, fatigue persisted after therapy was successfully completed.
After my previous marriage broke down due to problems with infertility and my constant fatigue (my ex was an overachiever and I couldn't keep up with his pacing), I found a wonderful man, got married again. We generally share tasks like cleaning, etc. He is very gentle and supportive and does the housework when I feel too weak to do it myself.
Now, I am an IMG (international medical graduate) studying for Step 1 USMLE and I wonder if there is anyone who has gone through this? I saw some posts from 2009 written by a lady with a nickname Premed. I wonder if she managed to finish her med school and to match for a residency?
It is strange to experience life on both sides: as a doctor and as a patient, especially when diagnosed with AI disorder that makes you see so many doctors and feel helpless, frustrated and lonely. Med path is tough even if you are in super health, and can be very demanding for us with AI. But I would really really like to work again as a doctor. I used to be a brilliant student and a good caring doctor. I am aware of my limitations, but I wonder if it is possible to make a balance between carrier and disease?
I just do not want to end up living in my pains and aches and fatigue all the time, reading everything I find about AI on blogs and in books...it simply became my preoccupation and I want to get out of this box.