I am a bit frustrated with my “worrisome self” over my health. I have a positive DX for DLE (skin issues, 1:80 ANA, low WBC). I sometimes worry that SLE will soon strike. What would you suggest for a patient like myself. Everytime some strange bug or illness comes my way I trouble myself with the question “Is this Lupus-SLE or is this simple a bug or simply signs of getting older.(aches / pains / fatigue / etc.) Without rushing to my Doctor….what rule of thumb would you suggest in differentiating what’s Lupus and what’s not.
This is a tough question as many SLE symptoms can be relatively non-specific and mimic infections. Chronicity is a good rule– for instance if the symptoms persist longer than you would expect from a viral illness, then it might warrant a visit or call to yuor rheumatologist. Often SLE patients have “typical flares” and learn quickly what is SLE and what is not.