Beth

 

Ann G

Beginning about 7 years ago, I was experiencing incredible fatigue. I had been a teacher for about a year and a half, so my doctors attributed the fatigue and constant throat infections to being around a lot of kids for the first time. I continued to get more infections and finally ended up being diagnosed with mono.

In 1990, after another year with LOTS of fatigue, my doctors decided to put me on allergy shots again since I have extreme allergies, and those too can cause fatigue. After a few months I was diagnosed with fairly severe anemia with unknown cause. After another few months, when I could hardly make it through the day my doctors finally checked my thyroid, which by and large had quit working. With the iron and thyroid pills I did feel better, but after about a month after doing my vacation thing of lying in the sun all day for several days, the fatigue came back strong, and one night I woke up with my elbow swollen so much it looked as if it had been broken. The next day it looked so bad, the doctor xrayed that and my neck which was all of the sudden hurting and checked my chart and decided I had some "weird" form of arthritis. My test came back with a high sed rate, liver inflammation, very slight elevation in my ANA and low iron content in my blood. By this time I was feeling swollen in most of my joints and had a fever of about 100 constantly. The doctors put me on predisone and then sent me to a great Rheum. She took my two years worth of charts, test, a three hour history and later diagnosed Stills rather that Lupus the internest had tentatively diagnosed. After the last six years, I feel like I can say from experience that Stills can affect so much more of your body than joints, everything from terrible sore throats to stirring up incredible allergies. Luckily for right now though, I feel lots of hope for all of us due to research that is ongoing through companies like Autoimmune, and Immunex. So hang in there and enjoy the good days!

After a very rough two years, with several minor surgeries to check the inflammation in my colon, and bladder and a BAD bout with arthritis in my ribs, I finally went into a pretty good remission for about 2 1/2 years , perhaps a little longer. I feel like I am currently back on my way to a remission after another rough year. I have taken plaqunil and various NSAIDS ever since I was diagnosed. My doctor plans to leave me on them indefinitely due to some new research.

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