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Dear Mermaid,

Alas, I bet many of us have had somewhat similar symptoms, at some point in time. But the awful thing is that ANA can be positive due to a passing virus; positive due to lupus, scleroderma, RA, etc.; or mildly positive just because it runs in a family, even without disease being present.

Has a dermatologist seen your rashes? Or do they disappear too quickly? I *think* classic discoid lupus and subacute cutaneous lupus rashes (both coin-like, at least at first) tend to last a lot longer than a day. e.g., my SCLE rashes lasted months.

As for your actual ANA result---did you get a lab printout? Was the result flagged as positive, or did your doctor call it positive? (I'm not sure what the threshhold is for deeming it "positive".)

Were you given anything for the swollen lymph nodes? FYI, people WITHOUT lupus certainly get them: I have a friend who has them very often. Very painful! Did you ask if swollen lymph glands ALONE might cause a transiently positive ANA?

There's a "sticky post" at the front of this board containing the ACR "4 of 11" diagnostic criteria for lupus. Reading it will help you see the wide range of problems and test results seen in people Dx'ed with systemic lupus.

I bet others will chime in soon. But take good care, meanwhile! from Vee, with my best wishes

Out of curiosity: did the Acyclovir help your painful lesions? I've seen facial shingles on my dad, plus what the med did for him---it cleared them up. Shingles, we were told, typically do "respect" the center line of the body, appearing only on one side (you'd said right side). Have you had full, flat-out chicken pox before? We were told the virus remains in your body forever and can reactivate as shingles.

On eosinophils: I looked up in my lupus hardcover. Dr. Wallace states that eosinophils are elevated in only about 7 to 10% of lupus patients, and that allergies are more common in lupus than in the general population. Lupus is formally Dx'ed by the "4 of 11" ACR criteria. Eosinophils clearly indicate an allergic reaction of some sort---but not lupus, one would think, unless the standard lupus criteria are ALSO met. So, have you seen a rheumatologist in your travels through specialists?

He also mentions two syndromes seen back in the late 80's and prior, thought to be connected to excessive intake of L-tryptophan (banned from that time on): (1) eosinophilic myalgic syndrome (EMS) and (2) eosinophilic fascitiis. For what that's worth... (I don't know if a banned substance can still make it into stuff we may be buying and using...)

On your lymph nodes: does anyone you've seen know why this keeps happening? Have you also tried an ENT? Kept up dnetal appts? (I have a nurse friend who turned out to have an infected impacted wisdom tooth, which made one side of her throat balloon like crazy.)

Anyway, thinking of you! from Vee
Dear Krissy (Mermaid1025),

Lupus can certainly make your joints hurt and make you feel weak and wobbly. But so can RA & probably a whole host of other things, I'd guess...

Is your 4/16 appt. with a rheumie? I hope whatever type of specialist you are seeing can figure out FAST what is making your lymph nodes so swollen & for so long. Sympathetically, Vee
Dear Kathie T.,

I don't know how often ANA is positive due to a passing virus, or "just because" (e.g., a family tendency). These are things we encounter when we read but have no way of quantifying or qualifying, alas.

I'm no dr. but it seems from what you have written that you have a variety of easily discernible things going: the swollen lymph nodes, low-grade fever Raynaud's, and positive ANA. You also have things going that are "subjective": facial pain on right side, knee/leg pain, and weakness esp. in your legs.

Is your the specialist you are seeing next "inside" or "outside" of the medical circle you've already seen? Some "stuck" people work through a medical group or community, then restart within the same group. Others seek an entirely new & different set of drs. But I think only you can decide what's your best course. Whatever you decide, I hope answers come quickly.

Wishing you good luck! Sincerely, Vee
Hi and welcome to the boards,

I don't usually pop in when others who have far more experience with this than I have give such good answers but no one has addressed the leg thing for you. I was dxed last May with Lupus. Further testing showed a pos. RA as well. I also have Mixed connective tissue disease associated with Lupus. This has manifested itself in my back, shoulders, knees, and thighs. My knees became very painfull on the sides and behind the knee cap. MRIs revealed minute tares in connective tissue. Of course with the pain I didn't do as much in the extra activity dept. As a result, I lost muscle tissue which gave me a general weak feeling in both legs. I had 3 months of physical therapy and while my knees will never be what they were and the tares are not fixed, we have managed to rebuild muscle tissue to do the job and things are better. It seemed as if I needed to get the dx of scarring discoid lupus before anyone would even look at the knees seriously.

As to the lymph nodes, many things can cause these to be chronically swollen as others have mentioned. Mono is one, Lyme disease is another, Thyroid problems, almost any endocrine problem can cause it. I'm sure you are frightened and frustated half out of your mind but please keep Dr.s looking. Sooner or later something will be definitive and you will have your diagnosis.

I do not have much of a facial rash, only once in a while in the summer time. I have scarring discs on both arms, shoulders, chest, and legs. These swell up like hives if I am out in the sun, especially without sunscreen. Lupus seems to be so varied in people that I'm certain this contributes to it being so difficult to dx.

Good luck to you and May God Bless and Keep Us All
Patience 50 :wave:

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