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I had no joint pain whatsoever. I'm told my my doctors that I am an unusual case. It was suspected by my regular doctor that I had lupus in mid-June. I had some really weird and vague symptoms and fatigue was one of them. I had a positive mono test earlier this year and I just thought what I was experiencing was from the mono. The only other constant symptoms that I had in addition to the fatigue was lots of swollen lymph nodes and a constant fever. But this was all explained away as the mono.

Totally on a whim one day while running errands, (June 15), I stopped at an Urgent care clinic to see if they could give me something for an eye infection I had. The doctor I saw there was really intrigued by some of the other symptoms I had recently and asked if she could run some blood tests. I told her yes--. I didn't even bother to ask what she was looking for or what she was doing. Anyway, a few days later I was told that I had some abnormal tests results (they had done a CBC, SED rate and a third one that I can't remember right now). My sed rate was 89 and the one I can't remember was also high. She called my regular doctor and they had me come and and run some more tests. After those came back abnormal, they had me do a few more and at that point told me they suspected it was Lupus. Then my ANA came back 1:1480 and my urine protein at almost 3%. I got a pretty definite diagnosis at that time but they still wanted to run the Lupus panel. By this time though, my doctor had made an appointment for me with a Rheumaologist. I went in a couple days later and--the lupus panel had come back positive and the rheumatologist confirmed the diagnosis.

I guess I have some serious kidney damage but no joint pain or involvement. It's weird because I wasn't looking for lupus--never even crossed my mind. And I also received a definite diagnosis (unlike most) and I got a diagnosis pretty quickly. Within a month.

I don't know if this helps you or anyone but if you have more questions, just post it and I'll answer the best I can.
Over the past 15 years I have had extreme joint swelling and pain, swollen lymph nodes, psoriasis, and photosensitivity. During that time the joint pain was misdiagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis, and all of the other symptoms were treated as seperate conditions. Sick of feeling like an alien I decided to stop going to doctors and just deal with my symptoms on my own. I took naprosyn or vioxx for my joints, used creams to manage the psoriasis, ignored the lymph nodes because the biopsy came back perfectly fine, and stayed out of the sun to address the photosensitivity (it was about 6 years of no doctors). I recently (3 months) quite smoking and fell into a depressive state along with some other random symptoms including more serious joint pain so I decided to see an internist. He ran blood work and told me that I definately did not have arthritis because my rheumatoid factor was negative, he thought I had some kind of mixed connective tissue disorder and suggessted that I see a rheumatologist because he was not an expert in this field. I took his advice. Since that time I have been diagnosed with Lupus. I have never had fatigue or the "rash" nor do I have any organ involvement. I have been reading the boards for about a month and am starting to realize that we are all very different and special cases. This disease takes on the most random manifestations, and each person has their own, very personal, symptoms. I did start taking Plaquenil 3 days ago and hope with all my heart that it helps my arthritic pains, but I plan to start looking at how I can keep Lupus at bay. There's nothing I can do about what I already have, but I hope to be able to fascilitate the maintanance of organ involvement. If anyone out there has any words of wisdom I would like to hear about how to prevent further damage and progression of the disease.

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