I know I still have to write an update on my nuclear DNA and CoQ10 tests, but something more pressing has come up that I thought I should blog about...
I'm getting tested for lupus again.
I've been tested for lupus at least three times before. There's not actually a specific test for lupus, but I've had ANA and other related tests done. The first two ANA tests (in 2005 and 2009) were completely negative. The most recent one in late 2011 was mildly elevated (1:160) but not high enough with the right constellation of symptoms to warrant any kind of diagnosis. You can read about my previous lupus excitement here ( Lupus or Not? and It's Not Lupus, But... ).
Unfortunately, this time around does not involve a simple blood test. I am scheduled to get a skin biopsy tomorrow. Ugh. The reason for the biopsy is because for the past couple of years I've been getting random rashes.
At first, I thought the rashes were from something I was eating, then I thought they might be from my laundry detergent. After paying closer attention to what I ate and switching laundry detergents, the rashes still seemed to come and go randomly. Eventually, I realized that the rashes were showing up in the same places as my first photoallergic rash from 2011 (see September Already? July was Itchy. )
I complained to my allergist about my worsening rashes, and she referred me to a dermatologist because the rashes were not like my normal eczema. I went to the dermatologist last month, thinking she'd give me a different topical medication or suggest ways to figure out what I'm allergic to.
To my surprise, the dermatologist asked if I had ever been tested for lupus. I told her about my past ANA results, and she was intrigued that my last ANA came back a bit elevated.
Long story short, I'm getting a skin biopsy tomorrow. In addition to looking for signs of lupus, they're going to look for another condition that has to do with being allergic to the sun (yes, you read that correctly). Whee...
I'm nervous about the skin biopsy because I don't know how much they are going to take, if it will hurt, or if I'll need stitches. My last biopsy was a muscle biopsy, and it was truly awful. I realize skin is not as deep as muscle (I did learn something in 9th grade biology), but I really dislike not knowing what to expect.