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I’m 49 years old female and just found out that my rheumatoid factor, quant is 88 with the norm being under 30. I am recovering from rotator cuff surgery, post op almost one year. My Ortho could not figure out the reason why I was not getting any better so ordered an arthritic blood test. He referred me to a rheumatologist and I’m awaiting an appointment. Additionally, I have what I thought was a sprained ankle, IBS, high cholesterol, blood pressure, and I’ve noticed my vision is greatly reduced. I’m freaking out!! Does this test really mean I have RA? Please help!! I’m in tears.

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  • Elizabeth Riggs
    3 years ago

    Hi Angie, You’ve really been through it, haven’t you? Once you see your rheumatologist, many of the symptoms you have may fall into perspective. It is possible that you may have had early RA for years – just under the radar, so to speak. If so, that may be the reason for the rotator cuff tear. I have had one rotator cuff repair (arthroscopy) and am still, a year later, trying to get my strength back in that arm. My other shoulder is giving out, so another surgery is in my near future. I’ve had seronegative RA (none of the serum tests are positive) for going on 35 years, but only diagnosed in 2006. A positive RA factor may or may not mean that you have RA. As I said, your rheumatologist will figure out all this. Yes, autoimmune diseases can lead to vision problems. But your vision problems may not be related to an autoimmune disease like RA. Keep a positive outlook – regardless of your symptoms or your diagnosis. There is a whole community of people rooting for you and for others waiting for diagnosis.

  • Jillian S moderator
    3 years ago

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us. It sounds like you have been through a lot over the past few years and I commend you on having the courage to share that so openly.
    It is wonderful to hear that in addition to your medication, you are committing to physical therapy which can significantly help you achieve better movement and functioning. I thought you might enjoy reading an article we have on a day at the physical therapist:
    I am also so glad that you find yoga relieves a lot of pain. I am a yogi myself and I always feel better after a class. Have you ever tried restorative yoga? It is a very gentle and relaxing form of yoga in which you hold poses for several minutes with the support of props. If you would like to learn more about it, check it out here:
    Have a great day.
    Jillian ( Team)

  • Kelly Dabel moderator
    3 years ago

    Hi AngieMachado, I’m so sorry that you are feeling this way and having to wait to see your Rheumatologist for more answers. In addition to speaking with your doctor, I thought these articles may be helpful to you; How RA is Diagnosed: and this one “What Does My RA Factor Mean?”: RA Factor is only one piece and is not enough alone to make a diagnosis. I hope those articles are helpful to you and please let us know your questions. We’re glad you’re here. Kelly Dabel, RD – Team

  • llzelm
    3 years ago

    I had three open rotator cuff surgeries. I have my range of motion but not much strength. Looking back it seems like the pain that would not go away with these surgeries was the beginning of the RA. But the most important was the hands. My RA is sero negative so nothing shows up on Blood tests. They took care of the hands which in turn helped the shoulders. But then it went to the pelvis and hips. I stay in touch with my GP to help me deal with pain and give me a whole body perspective. We think the spine is also involved here but not sure. So he suggested a second opinion on the RA as the methotrexate has shown no improvements. And I am back again to the spine clinic as well as Physical theray. Without the prednisone I would be on my back and not moving.

    so its a mystery and you need a detective. I do not use NSAIDS as they are useless for me. Yoga relieves a lot of pain. Oxycodone and Valium are my only drug relief. Do keep asking questions. Demand answers.

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