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[QUOTE=VeeJ;4958503]newinnj, hi. I'm obviously only a patient, but in yoru shoes I'd wonder if your first rash in December really was Fifth's disease. First, I read that the rash in Fifth's generally spreads from the face to other areas of the body. Also, I'm not aware that Fifth's can elevate ANA---but perhaps your ANA wasn't tested at that time...? Finally, taking steroids could easily have improved a lupus flare, if it WAS a lupus flare back in Dec.

From the pics I've seen, like you, I suspect malars can differ somewhat from person to person. I've read that even doctors can't necessarily tell rosacea from malar, just by inspecting visually. A skin biopsy could prove lupus, I think, but I believe doctors try NOT to biopsy the face unless absolutely necessary, because a biopsy will leave a scar.

Hopefully the rheumatologist will ask you a lot of questions, to see how many of the signs & symptoms of lupus you might have. (You can read those in the "sticky posts" at the top of the thread list.) Also, do specific blood tests that go beyond ANA, to see if any specific antibodies seen in lupus are present. (ANA is considered a "general" test, and it's positive in a number of conditions, not just lupus. BTW, I think ANA might be positive in alopecia = a hair loss condition. You could ask.) Also do urinalysis, to check for protein in urine.

I'm sorry you're scared. I was, too---but then by reading, I learned that in many people, lupus can be well-controlled. So I concluded I'd rather KNOW than NOT KNOW, get treatment to lower my odds of having the more severe complications, then just hope for the best. Reading can help that way, I think, as you'll see right off that many severe things can occur in lupus, and presumably you DON'T have anything terribly severe going on at present (at least not from what you wrote). Hang in there! I hope you post more when you can, sincerely, Vee[/QUOTE]


Thank you so much for your reply. My face looked really bad on Friday and then, unhappily, I started to feel large sore lymph nodes in my thigh. That freaked me out so I went to the doctor. Two doctors looked me over (we also talked about a sore toe joint) and unfortunately, they both suspect lupus. My ANA was very high in December (at the time I tested positive for Fifths/Parvo) and I really should have made a rheumy appt. immediately. I waited and now I have lupus symptoms, or at least that's where it's looking like it's headed. My face is less red but still puffy, especially under one eye, my toe still hurts some, lymph nodes went down a bit but still freak me out. I am going for lots more bloodwork in the morning and will probably talk to my primary care doc again prior to my may 7 rheumy appt. And I am scared. I think at this point, I am worried my last doctor missed this when I came in about low iron and hair loss issues several years ago. He followed up with some tests but mostly chalked it up to stress and childbearing/breast feeding. I should have been more aggressive to get to the bottom of it, but because I'm very high energy and otherwise healthy, I guess I heard what I wanted to hear and bought iron supps. I am scared and appreciate any support I can find from people who know this disease and live full lives with it.

Thank you!

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