Discussions that mention prednisone

Arthritis board

Hello All,

I'm really beginning to doubt my diagnosis lately (back and forth from lupus to RA). A quick summary - In 2003 I began having terrible joint and muscle pain. I could barely get out of bed. I had rashes, headaches, and severe fatigue. When I first went to my rheumy, my blood work was normal, but then after about the third time, I began having a positive low titre ANA for about a year. RF has ALWAYS been negative. I usually have high wbc and a lot of times I've had elevated liver enzymes and high monocytes. None of the other lupus specific tests have ever been positive. I got pregnant in October of 2005 after going off of Methotrexate. Everything was fine in the beginning and actually I felt better than I had in years (sign of RA). I started having swelling early on around the 14th week and my liver enzymes were elevated. Then, in April of 06 when I was six months pregnant, not only my liver enzymes were elevated, but my sed rate was high, my wbc was very high, and my rbc was very low. I was having some joint pain, so I started on 10mg prednisone daily (safe for fetus). Everything was fine except for severe swelling. I delivered my baby daughter in July, but a week later I became extremely ill and was hospitalized for postpartum preeclampsia (a complication in mom's with lupus). I was treated and released after a week. Then, from July through January 07, I have had no lupus/ra symptoms at all and have been off of all medications completely, until recently I started having joint pain and fatigue again and a rash on my forearms that burns. I went to my rheumy and he said that it's my disease (which one?) and he did blood work, bone density test and an MRI of my hands and wrists. I just got my results back today and the MRI shows no new damage to my joints at all, bone density is fine and ALL of my blood work is perfectly normal. He says that I have "mild" disease and that mine doesn't always show up in the blood work, but that doesn't mean that I won't have symptoms. He said he wanted me to start Plaquenil again after my eye exam.

Forget trying to figure out which disease I truly have; lupus or RA; I just want to know if I really have anything wrong at all. I'm starting to think that I don't and that sometimes people can just have these type of symptoms with age or stress or something. I'm confused and frustrated because I don't want to take medicines that I don't really need, but on the other hand, I know that my pain is real and my fatigue is real and I want to avoid it from returning. So, even with a diagnosis (or two), I don't feel satisfied that I know what's going on with my body. I used to always think "just give me a diagnosis for how I feel and I will feel a bit better just knowing what it is", but now, I don't even trust that.

Is anyone going through the same situation or similar? If so, please write back and tell me how your handling it.

Thanks - Donna