Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Good News: Lupus Expert Declares Me Unimpressive

By Kate Rope

Good news, dear readers, my new rheumatologist listened to my long and detailed history, asked me a battery of questions (”Do you have any joint pain?” “What about rashes?” “Do your eyes ever feel dry?”) and declared herself “unimpressed.” As an expert on lupus and pregnancy, she quickly pointed out that I did not meet the criteria for that autoimmune disease or any others. “Even if I wanted to enroll you in a clinical trial, I couldn’t,” she announced cheerfully.

Yes, my one and only symptom—sporadic inflammation around my heart—was sometimes a symptom of lupus and other autoimmune diseases, but that alone was not enough to say I had any of them. My blood tests for the biggies continued to turn up nothing. But the fact that my heart pain had returned after pregnancy did mean my body was doing something to cause it. Steroids had been keeping it at bay, but, what with their laundry list of icky side effects, I had to switch to something new. Read More

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