I went to see a new rhuematologist yesterday. And we're back to the question of whether I have fibro or sjogren's.
Ten years ago, my first rhuemy doc diagnosed me as "possible sjs (sjogren's)". My SSA antibodies were boderline. I didn't have any dry eye/mouth symptoms (symptoms of sjs). But I did get fatigue and progressively more joint/muscle (couldn't tell which one) pain. Then my SSA antibodies progressive went up off the chart. She suggested Plaquenil, if I wanted, because there are side effects such as irreversible blindness and stomach upset. I didn't take it--we both thought the risks were higher than the benefits.
A few years back, that rhuemy doc retired. The new rhuemy doc (Doc #2) didn't think I have sjs. He thought I had fibro instead. He said that I had SSA antibodies, but the other blood test markers did not correlate with sjs. If had sjs, then markers for inflammation would be positive (C-reactive protein and Westergren Sedimentation rate); but they showed no infammation. Meanwhile, my syptoms matched those for fibro: muscle pain, joint/muscle stiffness, sensitivity, anxiety, extreme fatigue. He didn't follow up with me. He only told me to get more light exercise.
Since I didn't get any follow up for a few years, I want to see another rhuemy doc (Doc #3). She thought I had sjs, and was very aggressive about treatment: Plaquenil (without any baseline eye exam, "Don't worry about it." she said.) I didn't like her attitude--very patriachial and dismissive of my concerns. Didn't take the Plaquenil. Didn't see her again.
I saw my latest rheumy doc (Doc #4) yesterday. Just based on my oral history and my old blood test results, he thoguht I have sjs. He didn't seem to ask much about my fibro symptoms. He ordered blood and urine tests. He suggested some meds, which I had already tried and had bad side effects (gabapentin, lyrica, etc.). He also suggested Plaquenil (WITH eye exam), but will wait on this one. Meanwhile, he suggests that I take Prednisone. This is without even getting my blood test results yet.
Has anyone here taken Prednisone? What are your side effects?
I'm concerned about Prednisone. No other doc has ever suggested it. Then I read about it. It is an anti-inflammatory, and suppresses the immune system, and has long term side effects.
I am about to take an overseas trip and am about to take some travel vaccines (for Typoid and Malaria). Taking a med that suppresses my immune system seems kind of risky. I told him this, but he said not to worry.
Any thoughts on this?
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Got my MRI results today. My neck MRI is completely normal no issues there so my migraines are coming from my head not neck. My lower back MRI on the other end, shows more degenerative changes, my back is getting worse same issues but worse and more disc bulging then a year ago. Which explains the increased pain :( No emergency surgery needed but do need surgery once i have lost enough weight. I...