Here’s what “has my goat” lately Those of you who may know me somewhat, you realize that I was diagnosed with FMS three years back; however, for a period of time after the diagnosis, I was in denial but my body wouldn’t let me forget the pain, fatigue, and general “flu-like” feelings tat I was going through. Even my PMD, an internist had to reaffirm to me that I had FMS. Now, I knew that there was something wrong; no matter how hard I tried to fight the FMS, the symptoms always won. A friend, who is also my allergist, ran some more tests due to my feeling that the PMD didn’t want to look past FMS. From those tests, I learned that my ANA was elevated and that I had antibodies to my parietal cells (lining of the stomach). My friend told me that this was beyond his expertise and that I needed to see a rheumatologist. I made copies of the test that was run by my friend to my PMD. That seemed to (excuse the word, no other way to say it) p##s her off. Why, I’m not sure. I thought she would be grateful! The fatigue became unrelenting; an early this past year, and after a sleep study that was normal, and my PMD made another diagnosis, CFS. Before I had the CFS diagnosis, I went to my rheumatologist on a self-referral as was suggested by my allergist friend; I was sure that I had something else going on, and my PMD seemed to want to settle in with the FMS/CFS situation. The rheumatologist ran the tests, and the high ANA was confirmed along with some other abnormalities. At that particular time, the rheumatologist told me at that time that it was unlikely that I had Lupus as I was 58 then, and Lupus usually affects younger people; he told me that ANA levels were high in some people with FMS and that it was highly unlikely that Lupus would develop. However, he did state that it could be “early Lupus” and that he’d keep monitoring through periodic testing. This past February 13, my tests run by the rheumatologist came back, and guess what.. I had Lupus. The rheumatologist was even surprised. Many of the symptoms of Lupus are the same as FMS and CFS; the rheumatologist told me that I had FMS, and that the fatigue is due to the Lupus. He told me that I “would die of old age, not the Lupus.” That seems well and good. When I asked about the fatigue and if there were anything to help, he told me that I’d “have to live with it.” I went to see my PMD and told her that the rheumatologist had diagnosed me with Lupus. She was surprised, and then asked if he were going to send records over. I told her that he had stated she could call him and talk with him, but I did sign releases so she could have the records. Please don’t give up trying to determine if you have other things going on than the FMS or CFS. We all need to be our own advocates and to realize that doctors are not specialists in everything.