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Ready,



As you will notice, I used the quote feature cause it so easy to for me forget (not just because of Lupus either) some of the questoins you asked without having the text there to glance at. Again, I want to remind you that I'm new to this.



-One thing I found is that people with Anemia can sometimes have Lupus. My brother has Anemia, so now I'm wondering if he might have Lupus. My brother is finishing up college, so I don't see or talk to him often. Should I tell him about this, and suggest he go to the doc as well?-



My opinion would be not to tell him to go to the Dr. yet. After you find out what's wrong with you, if you still think it's related, then share your diagnosis with him and see if he has any other symptoms besides the anemia.







-I don't think this is mono, I've had these symptoms on and off for a long time (at least two years), and I rarely ever have sore

throats, but I understand what you were saying about other illnesses having the same symptoms (which is why I have to let go of

this fear and just go to the doctor!).-



I don't think sore throats are a must with mono, but there are still a lot of other diseases with your symptoms, including some of the less severe autoimmune diseases.



-I'm going to talk to my mom some time about this. I know she won't take it well, she'll be very upset and worried (I haven't told

anyone over the years that I don't feel well, I didn't want to worry my family).-



I think you should make it a point to talk to your mother tomorrow when she has a few minutes free. As a mother of 2 daughters (19 & 22), no matter what is going on in my life, I would want to know and be able to help them. Remember, whatever it is, it is not your fault! From what you've written, I think you are one of the most mature, thoughtful, & considerate teenagers that I've ever run across. BUT, even us adults need someone to help us through this! (From your writing, I can tell you're very bright & concientious too. I work at a school, I know.)



-Do my symptoms sound enough like Lupus that I should see a Rheumatologist? Or should I just go to a regular doc? Should I even call attention to the fact I think its Lupus when I go to the doctor?-



That's a tough one. If you have a really good regular Dr., I might start there. Share all your symptoms & your families' medical history with him/her. See what he thinks first, and then maybe later ask him about the possibility of Lupus or some of the other autoimmune diseases if he doesn't mention it. Here's some of my reasoning......First, you want him to keep his mind open to anything. Just like when you take your car to the garage to get fixed and you tell them what you think is broke, they often will only check that and not even look at anything else that's broke or could be causing it. Also, you don't want to put the idea in their head that you just read about something, and now you're having psychosomatic symptoms. After he gets to know you a little during the exam, then you could share your fears about Lupus with him.



-Also, I have a trip that includes flying planned this summer. If I do have Lupus, would it be dangerous to my health to fly or

travel?-



As far as I know, I've never heard of a problem with flying. There had better not be cause no matter what happens to me, I'm still planning to fulfill one of my dreams to travel a lot.



-I have start writing down my symptoms this morning, so I can easily provide the doctor information. One of the most annoying symptoms I have that keeps recurring is the rash. What does a Lupus rash actually look like? When I get the rash on my hands, it's blotchy, red, and itchy. Some times it looks like scratches. Blotchy rashes also appear on my chest, neck, and face (cheeks and nose especially). The rashes on my face and neck usually feel really warm (like I'm hot), and can appear from stress, the sun, or for no apparent reason. Also, I have a few of these small, pinpoint red spots on my legs and chest (I think they're Petechiae, which the information I found says they can be cause by auto immune disorders like Lupus). Do these rashes sound similar to what people with Lupus get?-



Here's what I know from personal experience. About a year and a half ago, I developed a severe rash on my arms, from my elbow to my shoulders, red and blotchy. It wasn't real itchy. When I was in the sun, or even the shade for a long time on a hot day, it would get so hot and just burn. Then sometimes too, it would itch a little. I also had/have some on my upper chest, but that looks different. On my chest the spots are bigger round and more flat. (I can't remember what they looked like with sun.) I never had any on my face, although I do have a few small round spots there that just keep peeling over and over, with or without sun. Initially, I went to a dermatologist nurse practitioner who said it was sun allergy & gave me a cream to put on that made it worse. Then in Nov., when the stuff on my arms was gone, I got in to see our reg derm. Dr., he looked at my chest, and then asked to see my back, and he said it was hives. The following spring, I was in to see him for something else, and then he said the stuff on my chest was permanent sun damage. When I mentioned it to the rheumy Dr., he didn't answer me. So, is it connected to the Lupus or some other autoimmune disease? Who knows, certainly not my doctors!!



-I know this board can't diagnose me, but helping me narrow down my symptoms so I can go to the doctor and tell her what I think it is (I just finished reading a horror story of a girl with Lupus who the doctors couldn't diagnose and ended up dying as a result after years and years of symptoms).-



My opinion, pick some better literature to read!!! You're not like her cause you're way ahead of the game compared to most. The regular research can be good though in order to know what symptoms are relevant. I'm still discovering some..... like what's this about small pinpoint red spots? I have something like that all over my stomach. I pointed those out to my gynecologist about 10-15 yrs. ago & he said that happens sometimes after having kids.



Well, I think this is longer than yours, so quit apologizing. Here's a 2nd mother talking.....Talk to your mom now, get an appt., and while you're waiting for it, I think you can take some ibuprofin (better than tylenol cause it's anti-inflammatory) to help with the joint pain, and stay out of the sun and/or tanning salons. One more thing and then I'll quit nagging, be good to yourself and don't feel guilty about resting when you can. Take care, Ann

[This message has been edited by Ann S (edited 02-27-2001).]





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