Re: any suggestions for lupus treatment?
Bedordbunch, hello & welcome. First, I'm sorry you're dealing with all this!
Have you visited your library to borrow lupus books? Look for a current scientific discussion of Plaquenil & retinal problems. Most of us heard scary things initially, but these eye concerns actually apply to *earlier* generations of antimalarials that preceded Plaquenil. Plaquenil risk is actually extremely low when the dose is weight-appropriate. Better yet, build-up (if any) almost always *reverses itself* if the drug is discontinued. A simple "field vision test" to check for build-up is usually done 2x year. (I've taken Plaquenil for > 10 years with no problems.)
Plaquenil is known to be "steroid-sparing", which is why I hope it's a option for you. But whether it's sufficient for a patient with major organ involvement (like protein in urine), only your specialists can say. (But I do understand your problem with steroids & diabetes.)
Do you know what's causing your elevated liver enzymes? I ask because I know a woman who had fatty liver (the non-alcoholic type), which promoted liver inflammation; also chronic pancreatitis, which promoted diabetes. Is your endocrinologist working with your rheumatologist as a team?
I wish I knew other lupus meds (I'm sorry), but I hope others here chip in soon. And I hope you keep posting. Very best wishes, sincerely, Vee