I hope you can get that time off for rest and regrouping . It is not surprising you feel overwhelmed.
There's nothing at all stupid about not being aware of the UCTD diagnosis option and I am sure Katharine is right that "lupus like" is an easy way for the doctor to explain. In practice it doesn't have any lesser significance than an SLE diagnosis. In fact I am quite sure that many people get diagnosed with 'lupus' whom other doctors would diagnose with UCTD.
Basically, UCTD means there are no specific signs of any particular connective tissue disease.
In the case of lupus that means no proven skin or kidney involvement and no anti- ds -DNA or anti - Sm which are the only two auto-antibodies considered specific to lupus.
It's a good diagnosis in the sense that it doesn't carry the 'stigma' of lupus.
The statistics for its possible evolution according to one study of 65 patients with a UCTD diagnosis after 5 years were: one third with 'UCTD' diagnosis had no disorder; one third remained UCTD and one third developed a defined rheumatic disorder.
In another large study of 665 patients, after 5 years, 34.5 percent developed a defined CTD;12% remitted; and 64.5% remained UCTD. From the most to the least frequent, the defined disorders were RA, Sjogren, SLE, MCTD, scleroderma, vasculitis and inflammatory myositis.
( Source: Dr D Wallace in DuBois p 960)
The UCTD diagnosis does not mean that suffering is less, nor that quality of life might not be severly affected. Sometimes an SLE diagnosis can be ridiculous in practice even though in theory the criteria are satisfied. That's my own case: I have enough criteria including ANA and anti Ro antibodies, plus proven lupus skin problems plus a couple of others, for a technical SLE diagnosis. But only skin and arthritis and fatigue have been problems.
I'd like to suggest you investigate stress relief techniques. Even the most simple breathing exercises and physical relaxation techniques can help very much to reduce the physiological effects of stress. It's rather like putting on a flak jacket.
Many, many hugs