Re: One year I'm positive, now I'm not???
Biloxiblue, hi. Wow, I'd be confused, too! But since I'm merely a patient, please take what follows as possible questions, not as possible answers, OK?
There may be reasons *other than meds* for bloodwork being normal at times. e.g., I've read that some autoantibodies rise & fall with flare activity. What if, when your rheumie did your last bloodwork, you were NOT in a flare? I'd want a really good answer to that, if I were you. Another reason: labs vary. Another reason: dr. has to order all the "right tests" & not overlook ones that might clarify the core cause(s). What tests did he run? Did you get a copy?
Which "anti-DNA" were were positive for several years back: double-stranded or single?
FYI, the most definitive test for Sjogren's is a LIP BIOPSY. (And, just curious: can your pain meds cause dry mouth & eyes?)
If your pain is JOINT pain, were x-rays done to look for erosive damage? Or is it MUSCLE pain?
What pain med(s) have you been taking? Do you know their possible side effects? In particular, can they affect vision? Have you seen an eye dr. for an independent review? In your shoes, I'd see eye specialist ASAP, because you don't want to assume causality. i.e., what if your eye problems are totally unrelated to everything else?
I've heard of rheumies putting patients on a short course of steroids to see if they help; it's called a "steroid challenge", or something along those lines. Was this ever done?
Most libraries have lupus hardcovers by Dr. Daniel Wallace, Dr. Robert Lahita, or both. Dr. Wallace covers blood results, Sjogren's, thyroid problems, APS, etc. In a wonderful chapter toward the end of the book, he discusses how drs. determine if it's lupus vs. some other "close cousin". He also discusses meds, including which are appropriate for people WITHOUT major organ involvement & which aren't.
Bottom line---if I were in your shoes, like you, I'd want compelling reasons to start methotrexate. I hope others here chip in soon! Sending my best wishes, Vee