I was LOL when I read about your doc saying that your symptoms weren't from lupus. I get that all the time. They just don't want to take the responsibility for treating them OR they don't want to brush them under the rug until they know for sure it isn't from something else OR they think you will benefit from mind over matter, like then you will think you aren't as sick, but the problem is you then worry what other ten thousand diseases you have!
On the neck arthritis stuff, I've had two surgeries and now have 50% compression of my spinal cord in my neck and they won't put a rod in until I have some degree of paralysis. I have osteoarthritis throughout my back. There is actually a way to make it heal in some cases, through traction. Traction worked a lot to relieve my pain and to heal my lower back. Avoid surgery unless your arms are numb or something, but avoid it as long as possible, because you will end up with localized pain in your neck where it was done and there is nothing surgically they can do to fix it. Actually, getting the plate and four screws in my neck wasn't so bad and helped with the numbness, though its back now in my left arm, but when they cut the back of my neck from skull to shoulders through all those thick muscles, they really messed me up. Traction and pain management are good. Now i can't even do traction anymore and that took the pain away well.
Also, flu-like symptoms and nausea can be signs that you are in extreme pain, pain so bad you don't acknowledge it. Because arthritis pain and arthritis usually comes on slowly over years, you don't notice the pain, then it becomes annoying so you block it out and get really good at it. But at some point you can feel nauseaus from extreme pain that you block. Pain management and getting out of pain helps. I actually feel less nauseas on my pain medicine than I do without it, though the medicine is supposed to increase nausea, and I go days without taking any so I know its not an addiction thing. Its just pain, when I think of my neck, I want to throw up. I know it hurts but just don't have time for it. When I took fentanyl and was completely out of pain, I couldn't tell if I had GI problems or any other problem like even cancer, the pain med was too strong, and I had a polyp and so I learned that its good not to take as much pain meds as you need to be completely out of pain sometimes.
I sure hope you don't have to have neck surgery or anything like that. Usually your sed rate goes up when arthritis is active. Mine does, but then mine is usually always active. Another good thing about arthritis, at least osteoarthritis is that it can go away if there is something else causeing it and the cause is eliminated (seocondary arthritis), so that's a good reason to go to physical therapy and pain management for a while, if need be. COX2 inhibitors made me hurt alot more for some reason, guess I'm allergic or something. Ultram worked for pain and tizanidine worked for nerve stuff and I get a 20 hydrocodone a month for bad days.
I hope you feel better and the docs can figure out what was wrong. They found an inflamed patch in my small intestine that looks like celiac or some other type of malabsortion problem recently and they suspect that is causing my nausea and constant diarrhea for the last maybe 6-10 months, so you might want to see the gi on it if you aren't digesting food or stools float or just to get their input.
--Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less in human beings of whom they know nothing.--Voltaire (1694-1778)
Ills--Sjogrens-Lupus-like AI Disease, Hashis, Vitiligo, spinal stenosis/fusion with plate, salivary/lymphectomies, Diabetes, NAFLD, COPD, RLS, neuropathy, trigonitis, hystero, diffuse brain atrophy
Meds--Plaquenil, Evoxac, Metformin, Synthroid, HCTZ, Estradiol patch, Prosed, Klonopin, Soma, Ultram, Vicodin, Restasis, Albuterol,steroid injections, Protopic & Triamcinolone Acetonide ointments