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Hi Again,

Thanks for the information. The reason I asked is because the doctor told me you could test positive for syphilis if you had lupus but that this did not mean you had syphilis, so I was hoping maybe the fact I have had three children and therefore three negative syphilis tests this would perhaps rule out lupus for me. But as I mentioned earlier I had my children before onset of symptoms so it may not have shown anything anyway. I hope I am making sense. The doctor thinks there is significance in the two positive ANA's. I am researching for answers/clues to what it is I have, like most people here I guess.

Brief history. My first positive ANA was approximately nine years ago when I started suffering from a heavy head, complete numbness in my tongue and blackness that would force me to sit or lie down anywhere i could find at the time. This went on for months and when I went to the doctor (different one to now) she said something had come back in my blood indicating lupus but that it was hard to diagnose, took years and to be quite honest I cant really remember the rest of the conversation. I do remember looking up lupus and seeing something about rashes on the face so dismissed it thinking i couldnt possibly have that because i do not get rashes on my face. Eventually the above symptoms disappeared (to this day my tongue has not gone numb) and i forgot about the whole lupus thing.

Fast forward to the October 2008 and my hands started going numb. Due to type of work I was doing, they thought carpal tunnel. Had nerve conduction, nothing. Ultrasound showed no nerve entrapment, however showed minimal synovial thickening in both wrists. I made the decision to leave that job due to the fact that i thought it was some kind of repetitive strain injury and eventually my hands got better though i was left with very mild residual weakness in both hands.

2009 has been a terrible year. Hands numb till about February. April till July I had a severe flu that lasted 4 months with a horrible dry cough that I could not get rid of, 5 courses of antibiotics, ribs that felt broken, was forced to take time off of work, it was pretty terrible. Doctors kept saying virus virus virus. Then in August I got a severe case of Trismus(lockjaw) apparantly from the one remaining wisdom tooth I had in my mouth. There was no apparant infection and tooth was not decayed or impacted and dentist said it was unusual but that it could happen. Then within a couple of weeks of my lockjaw subsiding my hands started going numb again. Geeezzz I am fed up with my self by now. On top of all this I have noticed increasing problems with bladder control, balance issues etc. So off I go to the doctors and she ran some blood and the positive ANA comes up again, this time she explains i have a homogenous and speckled pattern that is sometimes associated with connective tissue disorders autoimmune etc but that it is not specific to any one disease.

Doctor initially suspects MS but as history starts to reveal itself, I realised I have actually been sick on and off for the last ten years with various things and have also put up with some annoying symptoms which i have managed myself because the doctors could never give me any answers. Some of which include recurring sensation of having something stuck in the back of throat (painless) extremely annoying especially at night when you are conscious of every swallow, severe restlessness in my legs where i have to get up because it drives me crazy, severe itching of scalp, (have tried every shampoo on market). Problems with my ankles, knees, wrists, (just thought i had weak joints) In the last five years joint problems have extended to my back and neck (just thought i was getting old, :-), im only 39) Some of the more horrible things have recurring problems with my eyes usually occurs at least every three months or so, worse in summer time, (bloodshot, burning, gritty and painful) pneumonia(3x), chest infections(lost count), gastric disturbances (sometimes quite bad and they thought i had an ulcer) depression, anxiety which is intermittent and chronic tiredness and extreme heat sensitivity. Oh and now i have a wart like thing on the bottom of my foot that started off as a callous two years ago and refuses to budge, have tried everything and it wont go away, just keeps getting bigger. So much for a brief history.

Anyway so now I am looking for answers, Iam starting to think not MS, maybe it is lupus after all or sjogrens or something. I am going back to doctors on tuesday for more tests and have a referral to a neurologist in three months. The question on syphilis was me in the process of gathering info for doc on tuesday and getting my questions ready to ask. Thanks for reading my probably really long post.

Lorraine





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