I've been diagnosed with Lupus for 18 years. I was diagnosed when I was 19 years old.
There is a list of symptoms and if you have X number of these symptoms, you probably have Lupus. I'm sorry, I can't remember how many of the symptoms you have to have to meet the requirements.
As far as I know, Lupus is manageable. Rheumatologists are the doctors who usually help you manage your illness.
Be prepared to take Prednisone. Prednisone SUCKS...but it is real effective for treating Lupus. I don't find that stress triggers my flareups...mine seem to be completely random!
Stay out of the sun. If you don't stay out of the sun wear some serious sunscreen. Allegedly, 15 SPF is fine for most peeps. I use 45 to 50 SPF...don't wanna take chances.
There are 2 different types of Lupus, Systemic Lupus Erythematosis which affects the connective tissues of your body (which I have) and Discoid Lupus which affects the skin, usually on the face, in the form of a rash.
Systemic Lupus Erthematosis can affect any organ in the body. It is annoying in the extreme. It can manifest itself as arthritis or something much more annoying.
I had serious blood issues. My white cells were attacking my red blood cells. I loathe prednisone, but it saved my life more than once.
Oddly enough, I used to have arthritis issues fairly often after I was diagnosed, but for the last several years I haven't had any arthritis issues. I am grateful for that.
Lupus...it's a serious pain in the butt, but it is manageable, as far as I know.
BTW, as an infant, I was tested for leukemia because of my swollen glands. When I was in the hospital, before they diangnosed me, they did a bone marrow biopsy.
Pleurisy? I've had it more than once, especially during wet, rainy, cold winters. Hated it! Made sleeping way difficult.
I've had 2 deep vein thromboses, 1 pulmonary embolism, and a really obnoxious full body arthritis attack.
Thankfully, I'm still here...and I'm a SUPER BAD patient. My doctor yells at me. He should.