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Symptoms, huh? There were so many minor ones over the years that went unexplained, but that I truly believe were the beginning of a cascade of problems that ended up with the lupus diagnosis. Stuff started happening at least 15 years ago, in my early 20's. Things that taken alone, would never have gotten me diagnosed with lupus, nor do I believe I actually had lupus at that time, but that my immune system was having all these small malfunctions and slip-ups before the big whammo actually showed up.

-Bouts of weird urinary incontinence, starting my early 20's (I have since learned that there is something called lupus cystitis that lots of women with lupus experience).
-Also since my 20's, this electrifying shock feeling that shoots up my backbone, through the neck, to my head. For maybe 15 or 20 seconds I feel semi-paralyzed in the shoulder, neck and head area, barely able to move or speak, and then it passes. Happens only a few times a year, but totally freaks me out.
-The feeling of a lump in my throat that wouldn't go away until I was given a steroid spray. Was told that my throat was inflammed and swollen, which made it puff out and feel like I had a "lump".
-Strange TMJ problems. One day I began to feel my jaw begin to get a catch in it while I was doing normal things like eating or talking or yawning. Just a passing second or two when it would seem to get a catch in it, but then it would close normally. This went on for some time until one day it got a catch and just stayed locked open. After some minutes had passed, it just released and allowed me to close my mouth. This began happening with increasing frequency, sometimes staying locked open as much as an hour or more. I was so afraid it would happen when I was at work or in public. Once, it did happen while I was at work, but I simply went to my cubicle and stayed at my computer with my back turned until my jaw released, so no one saw it. Went to the doctor, all they said was the joint was inflammed, did I grind my teeth? Nope. This stopped happening as mysteriously as it started. Also, sometimes when I take my first bite of food, I get these shooting pains in my jaw that make my eyes water. Have to stop chewing for a few seconds until it passes.
-Strange nosebleeds suddenly started about 10 years ago, when I had never had a nosebleed in my life. Just as suddenly, they stopped.
-Small purpleish things that looked like blisters or warts that rose up on my fingers. Seemed to remain more under the skin than on top. Looked like they had blood in or under them. Things took forever to go away.
-Little red and/or purple blood dots under the skin. Large patches of these would appear out of the blue. Thought they were bruises, but knew that I hadn't done anything to bruise myself.
-Weird facial numbness
-Uncontrollable muscle twitching
-Whole body itching, especially the knees and feet and some anal and vaginal itching. The anal stuff almost drove me crazy, but want to know the most maddening itch of all? My EYELASHES itched like crazy. Wanna see me scratch my eyeballs out? OK! LOL
-Large, swollen lymph nodes in the head and neck area. Doctor told me I had a scalp infection because of the itchy, fiery red scalp and hair loss I was experiencing, and that my lymph nodes were swollen in an effort to fight off the infection. Took a round of antibiotics, had no effect. Shortly thereafter, I learned I had lupus.

And of course, all the other stuff: bone and muscle aches; stiff joints; mouth sores; inflammed ear canal; itching, burning scalp, heavy "lupus dandruff" and hair loss; permanent rashes that appeared after relatively short sun exposure; red rashes on my face, arms, chest and back; unexplained fatigue, especially after spending time in the sun; gastrointestinal problems and rectal bleeding; slow healing....

I must be forgetting something, but I'm sure I've written too much already!





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