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Date: 16.06.2014
From: Sam

Subject: New and rf positive

After a few months of odd pains here and there (hips and feet mostly) and extreme tiredness I went to my doctor and he sent me for blood tests. 10 days ago my doctor told me my ra factor was positive (though all the other tests he did for inflammation etc came out normal). He said he would refer me to a rheumatologist and sent me on my way.

Since that day all of my symptoms seem to have gotten worse. I am now feeling a burning pain in my feet, hands, knees, shoulder and neck and I am feeling so scared about the future and what all these burning sensations are doing to my body.

So what I need to know now is if there is anything I should be doing while I wait for my hospital appointment. Should I be on any drugs? My doctor didn't give me anything (which I was fine with at the time) but now things seem worse I am panicking. Or is there nothing he can give me until I am officially diagnosed?

Also I am supposed to be going on holiday abroad in 4 weeks time and have 4 young children to look after. Will I be able to go? What is symptoms worsened while I was there and I couldn't look after them (my oh isn't joining us until later in the holiday).

Thanks for reading.

Sam
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Date: 16.06.2014
From: bsk

Subject: Re: New and rf positive

Hi Sam, I'm sorry you are going through this. You should talk to your doctor about pain relief and anti inflammatory drugs. Obviously, if you didn't have these symptoms when you saw him, he would want to know things have got worse. There can be a bit of a wait to see a rheumatologist in some areas so please go back to your gp to get advice. He may also be able to speed up your appointment if necessary.

You should also ask him advice about your holiday but do you have a friend who could come along to help you out with the children and be there for support? I managed to get on holiday when I was quite bad, I slept most of the time but at least I wasn't trying to cope at home with the usual domestic stuff at home.
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Date: 16.06.2014
From: Colin W

Subject: Re: New and rf positive

hi Sam , totaly agree with bsk & see your GP & maybe have some more blood test done

there is alot of us on here with RA , & pretty much everything you will come across someone will have had something similar before

as for RA , it dont normaly affect our hips but it can but not when you first get it , hip pain tend to relate to some lower back problems , the drugs can control RA alot better than 10 years ago & need need to fast track you onto the drugs you need , being RF positive dont always mean you have RA but with joint problems & heat I would go back to your GP & try to get the appointment pushed forward
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Date: 17.06.2014
From: Sam

Subject: Re: New and rf positive

Thank you. I will go back and see my GP.
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Date: 26.07.2014
From: Emma

Subject: Re: New and rf positive

Hi Sam,

Do you know what your rf was?
A positive rf is suggestive of RA but by all means doesn't diagnose it. I was having joint swelling and aches and pains and also went to the GP who ran some blood test. Everything was normal apart from positive rf. So I panicked and I felt my symptoms get progressively worse.
Anyway,cut a long story short. I do not have RA. They repeated the RF and it was back in the normal limits again. It can fluctuate all the time.
I am now absolutely fine..no joint pain/swelling etc.

Definitely don't write yourself off yet!

Good luck xx
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Date: 26.07.2014
From: Julie

Subject: Re: New and rf positive

that's interesting Emma, did you have to ask for the repeat test and how long was it between you having rf tests? Did they give you any medication or explain why you were having swollen joints and aches and pains?

I myself have said from beginning that I don't have RA although I tested positive, I am being treated for it but people say to me that I am in denial - well maybe I am but I would really like to know why when I stopped the majority of the RA drugs my crp dropped to 9.2, (which is still too high I know but its going in the right direction) all the time I have been on the drugs it has been in the higher 100's and often 200 and over - and I feel really well at the moment.

I wonder if they ever do a repeat rf factor test during treatment, something I am going to ask my rheumy, that is when I eventually get another appointment!

I am really pleased that you are well and that you don't have any pains now.
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