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Hi Everyone,

I am fairly new to this board. I Have been on the bowel board a lot however, and hoping for some help in this area of my life. For the last 5 years after the birth of my first daughter, I have had severe arthritis. I am 33 years old now. My doctor drew some labs and found that I had an ANA of 1:1280 (Unsure of the pattern) and sent me on to a Rheumatologist who drew a ton more blood. My ANA at that time was 1:640 My rheumatoid factor was negative and basically all other labs were negative at that time. After seeing my Rheummy for 2 years, he said he was on the fence as to whether I had sero-negative RA or Sero-neg Lupus. I have also had 3 blood clots in my legs (thrombophlebitis, not DVT) and I have had 3 rashes that look like hives all over my torso and scalp that lasted 4 weeks and finally went away with steroids. (these were a complete mystery--no change in lifestyle whatsoever). I also have extreme fatique with all over achiness and definite flares and remissions. My hand and finger joints swell, my knees sometimes swell, and the same with my ankles. I also have raynauds disease of the nipple (rare, but I have it quite severely on my breasts only, not my hands and feet). My rheummy wanted me to start plaquenil a long time ago, and I have been suffering because I wasn't finished having my family, and I didn't want to start it. Now, I have 3 beautiful children and still have this horrible pain. I am now seeing a new Rheummy now and I go back to go over my test results on May 1st. I was having such a bad flare yesterday that I called the office and begged for some relief. I was given a medrol dose pak 4 mg tablets to hold me over until May 1st. I feel so much better after 1 day on the steriods. I am still having a little fatique, but dramatically better. My arthritis pain is very much improved, along with the swelling. My question is, Does this mean since I responded to the steriods that I could have one of these auto-immune disorders. I remember hearing about a pred challenge, but don't remember what it means. If anyone can help out I would appreciate it. I had a day pf desperation yesterday and honestly didn't know how I was going to make it through. Now my outlook on life is so much better with the steroids on-board! My preliminary tests from talking to the nurse were that my x-rays showed mild arthritis in my feet (that explains why my hands hurt! LOL) a positive ANA of 1: 320 (the lowest it has been) and everything else Negative. She didn't really sound all that together, and she was searching the computer, so I don't know if she found all the results or not. I also had a lymes test drawn, but she couldn't find it in the computer. I was not in a flare when I saw the dr. (isn't that always the case??) The other troubling symptom I have is sever memory problems. This is really getting to me. I keep renting movies that my husband said we watched a couple weeks ago, forget names of my friends that I have known for years, and I just feel dumb lately if you know what I mean. Any help would be appreciated. I just want to be better and get on with my life without being in constant pain.

Sorry for the long post and thanks for any info.
Kelley





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