I will answer as much as I can art this point in time. I have just come out of hospital after another mild heart attack so I am not fully with it yet. All of what I say here is not from a medical viewpoint of course, only my own experience of SLE.
Firstly, these people who say the most ridiculous things regarding lupus need to be educated. NO, it is not a death sentence. Indeed, as you say with all of the emazing treatments now, you can and no doubt will live a full and fulfilling life. Also it depends on what type of lupus you have which type of treatment you will receive. Only SLE afects the internal organs, and again not everyone with SLE willl have organ involvement.
The joint pains might be arthritis which is something that would present normally with inflammation of the joint. It could even be arthralgia which is pain in a joint. Arthritis is different to this. It causes stiffness and lots of aches and pains. This will be something that hopefully will be looked into with your testing going on. It is something you must speak about to the rheumatologist, even if on the day it is not too bothersome.
On the hashimoto's I'm afraid I can't help. I know a lot of our familyu here do know lots about it though and I'm sure that you will get help with this.
As more testing is done on you and you need more advice and help from us here, come back and we will do our best to support you. Emotional support I personally feel is of the utmost impotance to us and I will do my best to give you this.
Yes Rachel, you will lead a full life as I said. As with all illnesses like lupus, which are classed as chronic, we have to work too on being determined not to let it take over our lives. We have lupus, but lupus is not who we are.
I have other medical conditions too that hav caused me to have physical disabilities, but I have fought for most of my adult life to lead as normal a life as I can. It is hard at times when I am very unwell, but it can be done.
RAchel, you may ask me anything you need to know. I might not respond for a little while, as I have to rest - hee hee - because of the latest heart problem, but I will get back to you when I can. Everyone here is so very helpful as you know and you will get all of the support you need.
Whoops, just been caught on here. I am in trouble hee hee !!