Welcome to the forum. I'm sorry you are dealing with so much discomfort and pain. I, very recently also had the joy of figuring out if I had RA. I was diagnosed with arthritis in my neck, back in October. The pain also radiated into my shoulders. So I ran the possibility past my rheumy. She's awesome. She said, no. I don't have RA because RA only attacks the joints in the body that has synovial fluid in them. The vertibrae in the neck that would be affected by RA are C1, C2. That's it. My arthritis is in C3, 4, 6, 7. Those vertibrae have discs, no synovial fluid. I learned something very valuable!
Do you know which vertibrae are affected in your neck? You can have a positive RA factor, but not have RA. All the triggers have to be perfect to develope RA. Which other joints are hurting you?
I would pursue the lupus testing. Get a lupus blood panel done. See what else is going on. How high is your ESR? It's a test that isn't always one that tells the truth. You can have a normal ESR and feel like crap. Then you can have an elevated ESR and feel just fine. It's not the best indicator of what is going on, unless the number is crazy high....
Best thing to do is keep a daily diary of EVERY symptom you have. How much sleep you need, any triggers that you know of that make you feel worse. Also, if you have any rashes, take pictures of them. The more info you can have written down, the better.
Is your appointment with the rheumy soon?
I can do anything through Jesus Christ who strengthens me. I have learned in whatever state I am in,to be content. Phillipians 4:11-13
33 years old. Diagnosed with lupus in 2000. Fibromyalgia, anti-phospholipid syndrome(APS)(stroke),Sjogren's, Raynaud's, seizure disorder-(miraclulously disappeared!), Libman Sach's Endocarditis, vasculitis, sacroiliitis, arthritis (neck) . Prednisone, Imuran, Coumadin, Clobazam, Amitriptyline, didrocal, monopril, calcium, Cykolokapron, multi-vitamin, vitamin D, Magnesium, vitamin B6, Acidophilus