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For over a year ive been having pain in my arm, hands and fingers. Started in my arm as if I had fiberglass in my arm, then months later it just felt like a chemical burn on my arm. I can not stand for anything to touch my arm. Now my knuckles hurt really bad they turn red and feel like paper cuts on them and my middle finger has a vein that bulges out and burns some days more then others. My Dr is sending me to a rheumatologist to check to see if I have lupus or ra. What do y'all think?

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  • Welcome to LUpus Patients Understanding & Support (LUPUS) at HealthUnlocked.

    I am sorry to read about your distressing symptoms and can understand this is a difficult timefor you. Your doctor is right in sending you to see a rheumatologist.

    Diagnosing systemic lupus erythematosus is a difficult and sometimes a long process. There is no single blood test that can diagnose lupus. If a woman has a malar rash (a specific kind of rash which a majority do not have), a positive ANA and lupus nephritis, this is easy to diagnose. However, the majority do not present in this way.

    Not all rheumatologists are lupus specialists and many have never seen or treated a patient with lupus. However, this is jumping ahead and I do not know why your doctor mentioned lupus as there are many conditions that can explain your symptoms.

    You will undergo a complete clinical examination and what I recommend is the following:

    1. Write down EVERY medical illness, with dates, that you have had since infancy. No matter how irrelevant it may seem, write it down. Include any mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.

    2. Write down, with dates, ALL your symptoms so that when your rheumatologist discusses your clinical history, you will have everything to hand.

    3. If you have any rashes - photograph them! It can be guaranteed that on the day you see the doctor, there is nothing to see!

    It is important to give your doctor as much information as possible. My advice is not to try and diagnose yourself and the internet may not be reliable. There are many websites that give inappropriate advice, generate anxiety and their medical "information" is inaccurate. LUpus Patients Understanding & Support (LUPUS) will always cite where the information is from so that you can check it comes from doctors RECENTLY. Some 30 years ago, diagnosis and treatment was very different. Today, we have better diagnosis and better and effective treatment should you have lupus.

    We also have another website called the LuPUS Message Board where you can also post questions and talk to other people. Registration is FREE and we offer free information and free online psychological support. We specialise in psychological support with our own counsellor/psychotherapist available.

    By becoming a Member, you will have access to the private forums and because they are private, only Members have access and even bots and search engines are forbidden.

    When you register, please use the following format for entering your date of birth: nn-nn-nnnn where n=number. Please use the "-" separator and not "/".

    Finally, please go to: lupus-support.org/LuPUSMB and Sign Up.

    I look forward to talking with you more!

    Sometimes we need to talk to people who understand and who are not family or friends.

    With good wishes!

    Ros

    Disclaimer: No attempt is made to diagnose or to make any medical judgement. You are advised to seek the advice from your own physician. LUpus Patients Understanding & Support (LUPUS) is not a substitute for your own doctor.

  • Well l9oks like I'm in the wrong section :-) I went back to my Dr today because my knuckles started hurting pretty bad last night, they turned red and felt as if I had rubbed them against a brick wall. She is checking my ra factors. She didn't even mention lupus this time.... She also gave me a b 12 injection.

  • I am not quite certain what you mean by being in the "wrong section". It matters not whether you have lupus or another autoimmune condition. You will also be welcome at LUpus Patients Understanding & Support (LUPUS).

    Many of these autoimmune rheumatic conditions overlap. The point is that you feel understood and supported.

    With good wishes,

    Ros

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