I was diagnosed 4 years ago but I have had "flares" or symptoms since I was about 19 years old.. I am now 53. At 19 I had had costochondritis (is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects a rib to the breastbone (sternum)) and it felt like I was having a heart attack...this maybe what you are having. All you need are anti-inflammatory meds and total rest. It will go away. Also at 19 I developed a butterfly rash on my face and upper arms that no one could diagnose because it wasn't lupus (did not show up on a test). So I had that 4 8 years and it was called "polymorphous light eruption" because it got worse in sunlight and with a lidex cream it would fade. After about 8 years it went away. Then in my 30s I had IBS for a year (went away), had Nipple Vaso Spasm (Nipple blanching (turning white) after breast feeding, occurs when the blood flow to the nipple is limited or cut off) also a form of Reynauds Phenomenon (an autoimmune symptom). Then I had my hands swell like sausages (huge) for about a month (doctor told me I had a virus) then I had palpitations that lasted for 9 months! I have had costochondritis once again. Then in my 40's I started having this chronic pain in all of my muscles...doctors say that I need to stretch or that I have joint pain and it is osteoarthritis...I get a knee replacement (which was fantastic and went very well) but swelling and soreness in muscles doesn't go away. I get numbness in both hands (neck inpingment)... then there is incontinence which comes and goes...List goes on and on. I look normal on the outside but I am constantly battling pain or something health wise. I lose my voice for no reason every few months...and the only way I feel normal is when I go on prednisone (which I try to avoid because it is soo bad for you). So people don't realize that certain activities are impossible for me because I look alright and I'm not acting sick.
I am not convinced that I only have MCTD and Hashimotos because many of my symptoms are like MS, but then again my mother has Vasculitis (Wegeners) so I inherited this from her. I am afraid that we are doomed to have these multiple and frustrating symptoms for the rest of our lives and must somehow endure it . Currently Lyrica is working for me, and I also take B12 supplements every day (that made a difference too). I don't trust my doctors because they take this disorder too lightly (my Rheumy calls it "Lupus Light" yet everything I have read on it suggests otherwise. My neurologist wants to just wait and see as my MRI has demyelinating spots on it "but nothing serious" My endochrinologist has me on synthroid and says that he doesnt' want to see me for a year! So I feel abandoned by the very people that could alay my fears. So I am now looking to quackery..or alternative methods to treat my symptoms. Tapping worked to make me feel a little better...don't know if actually works but if it makes me feel better...why not?