Meg, hi & welcome. You could find excellent lupus hardcovers in your local library or bookstore. Look for Dr. Daniel Wallace, or for Dr. Robert Lahita, or both! In his lupus hardcover, Dr. Wallace writes a length how these conditions (lupus, RA, Sjogren's, scleroderma, PLUS MORE) are distinguished from one another. Also, how if bloodwork points to more than one, what features/results help narrow a doctor's thinking.
While I'm ONLY a patient, I think I can give you some hope. I also had joint, bone, skin, fatigue, etc. problems dating back to pre-adolescence. Later on: years of anemia, GI & urinary problems, migraines, weight loss, etc. Not until my 40's was I Dx'ed with a form of lupus. Yet I stayed "SUBACUTE", meaning no major organ involvement. And even if you have some "acute" problems, with proper Dx, treatment, and regular followups, you CAN do better.
So my advice is to read. And, of course, keep posting! We're good company, if I do say so myself.
I'm glad you found us here. Until later, warm wishes, Vee