My test results have come back. My RF and CCP lab tests were both negative. Based on these results Dr Doud believes that I do not have Rheumatoid Arthritis. She said that she was very surprised because she thought for sure based on my symptoms that it would come back that I have RA. She said, "Well, it's a good thing we do labs and don't just go off of my own initial perception." However, the lab ran another test called an ANA and it was positive. Based on the fact that the other two labs are negative and this one is positive she thinks that actually I have Lupus.
Now, it is possible that I have a drug-induced Lupus. Remicade, the medicine that I am on for Crohn's disease, can do that. The action would be to get off of Remicade and my symptoms would eventually go away. Or, I really do have Lupus which is possible because once you have one auto-immune disorder you often get others. However, there is no way to know for sure which one it is unless I go off Remicade. Dr Doud has upped my prednisone and I am supposed to call her on Tuesday to see how I feel. She may put me on methotrexate still (as it is also used to treat Lupus).
I called my GI today and spoke to his nurse about all of this. Dr Doud is hesitant to take me off Remicade because it has been working so well for my Crohn's. I want to talk to Dr Pearson about my other options after Remicade. I am also going to see if they (Dr Doud and Dr Pearson) can talk and feel each other out for a good game plan.
They way that it stands now I could go off Remicade to see if my Lupus stuff goes away. If it does great but I still will just have to deal with my Crohn's. If I go off the Remicade and I still have Lupus symptoms however I have screwed myself in the Crohn's department because once you go off Remicade it will never work as well for you again if you go back on. Or, I stay on the Remicade and we treat the Lupus with methotrexate. Then I will be taking two major drugs. I am not sure where to go from here. I am praying for wisdom for myself and the doctors. I think that if I knew what my options are after Remicade I feel like I could make a better judgement.
Thankfully the prednisone has been helpful and I am able to function a bit more during the day. I have not had many side effects of prednisone because I am able to stay on a lower dosage. This is a huge blessing. I had a wonderful weekend with the family and my pain was manageable. I am so thankful for that.