Re: what were your first symptoms of lupus?
My first symptoms appeared in foot pain as soon as I put my feet on the floor in the morning, visual disturbances, general achy feeling and swelling of joints without injury or arthritis evidence. I also had a history of severe medication reaction to sulfa drugs and over reaction to insect bites (one that actually needed medical attention). I also had a long history of irritable bowel syndrome that had become chronic and interferred with my being active outside the home and limited my diet immensely. I also had a long episode of vertigo (not the typical vertigo) that I would experience a spinning sensation that would occur dozens of times a day, even while sitting perfectly still and not related to any movement etc after a Cervical fusion.
I compiled a list of the symptoms and was actually worked up by a neurologist, cardiologist and Rheumatologist, Gastroenterologist and still no diagnosis for what I considered my cluster of symptoms. I finally got a Fibromyalgia Diagnosis after seeing a second Rheumatologist, but it took the third one to test and find the Lupus.
It may not be so hard to find the answers in others. I do not fit the typical Lupus patient. I do not have the typical rash seen in many or the organ involvement (other than possible valve damage, not conclusive that lupus is the cause) but I do have some of the lab studies and other symptoms that led to my being diagnosed.