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Hello everyone. Beginning a few months ago, I've gotten many strange symptoms that, upon doing some research, I've realized sound a lot like lupus. I've done a lot of research into Lupus and read most of the posts on this site, and I'd like to make my own post and get some opinions.

Here's a list of every symptom I can think of that I have:

-From approximately one year ago, I've had a strange pain in my chest. When I first got it, it was extremely scary but I've gotten used to it. It's a dull pain around the lower half of my left lung. It seems to continue for months at a time, then mysteriously disappear. When it hurts, it also hurts to the touch
-My throat often gets sore
-Almost every major joint in my body gets very sore. This also comes and goes and sometimes only certain places hurt, its very strange.
-Additionally my body has become very VERY snappy lately. Almost every joint is extremely cracky and makes a cracking noise at even the slightest movement.
-I don't feel well almost all the time. I feel drowsy often, and am unable to complete an entire day of work without becoming exhausted.
-When standing up from a sitting position, my back cracks loudly, around where my pelvis is.
-No idea if it's of any relevance, but when I get a cut or any sort of rash, it seems to take forever to heal..
-My left hip joint is extremely strange. When I walk, it snaps every step I take, and I can feel something moving inside (tendons? The bursa surrounding the joint? No idea...). This does not hurt, however.
-When I lift my arm up above my head, the tendons in my arm snap loudly sometimes.
-Recently, When I twist my wrist around, I can feel the tendons (I think they're tendons) in my arm making a scraping sensation. This also does not hurt
-(again maybe no connection, maybe just dreaming this one...) In the morning when I wake up, my eyes seem very sensitive to the light. If its a bright day out and I got outside, I can barely see anything for a while..
-Concentration problems
-Usually on days off I feel relatively well. Especially when I have two days off in a row, the second day I usually feel fine.

Things I DON'T have:
-Butterfly rash, or ANY rash for that matter
-mouth ulcers
-irregularities in blood cell count
-any swelling of any sort
-memory loss (not 100%, but I'm fairly certain I don't have memory loss)
-sensitivity to cold / heat
-headaches, heart problems
-rheumatoid factor and any signs that could point to rheumatoid arthrytis in my blood

Sorry for the long post everyone, but this is something I'm thoroughly worried about.

The sore chest started a year ago, and everything else maybe.. 5 months ago.

Also, I'd like to speak of my current situation:

I've a 22 year old male from Canada who is currently in Tokyo, Japan on a working holiday visa to study. I've been here since last August, and will return to Canada soon (August). While Canada is relatively cold, Tokyo is sub-tropical and is extremely humid and the summer days range from fairly hot to extremely hot. I have gone to the doctor maybe 6 times in Canada about my chest, and approximately 7 times in Japan since all of the above symptoms occured. Blood tests normal. X Rays (of bones in chest, of lungs, of knees, of feet) are always normal. No doctor ever even suggested Lupus or thought anything of it seemingly. I intend to go to the doctor again upon returning to Canada (it's expensive in Japan and I'm out of money...).

My questions are:

1. Everyone has already heard this question many times, but...
Avoiding a "go see your doctor then you'll know" answer, from those who unfortunately have Lupus, what do you think of my symptoms? Does it sound like a good probability of being Lupus to you?

2. Most of the people on this site are female, certainly because most Lupus patients are female. As a male, I know the probability of Lupus is less, but how many people here have male friends/relatives with Lupus (or ARE male and have Lupus)?

3. I've been working a lot in Japan. I've read medical journals and such, but I'd especially like to hear from actual people who've experienced this disease or these symptoms if possible: Does stress aggrivate Lupus symptoms? Also, could the hot climate be having a majorly negative effect on me?

4. I will be in Japan for another month approximately. I know the quicker I go to the doctor about this specific issue the better, but how dire is it that I wait the extra month to see a doctor in Canada instead of paying an extra large amount of money to see a doctor in Japan? Should I see the doctor here and have all the tests done, or wait until I get to Canada? Canada is free, while it will certainly cost me several hundred dollars in Japan...

I apologize for the length of this post, but I appreciate everyone who actually reads though it and gives me their input / opinions / recommendations, etc. Thank you very much


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