Labs Labs are tools to help diagnose RA, distinguish it from other forms of arthritis, determine its severity and monitor key body functions for the liver and kidneys during treatment. Rheumatoid Factor (RF) Rheumatoid Factor is an autoantibody that is produced by the body’s immune system. Autoantibodies, made by the B cells, attack a person’s own antibodies. The presence of Rheumatoid Factor is an indicator of inflammatory and autoimmune activity. Elevated in about 80% of those diagnosed with RA. Some link the severity of RA with the degree of elevation. The RF may also be elevated in those with Lupus, endocarditis, cancer and a variety of other disorders. My RA is considered sero-negative as my RF factor was not elevated.
It was time to do his urine test to determine his insulin dose. He was diabetic. He followed procedure carefully. He went into the bathroom and closed the door. He picked up his urinal and proceeded to fill it. He left the bathroom and handed the urinal to the nurse. She took it into the bathroom. She dipped her measuring tape into her patient’s urine. She waited as it changed color. She held it up to the chart. A 2+. She went back to the nurses’ station and drew up the units of regular insulin designated for a 2+ test result. She administered the insulin to her patient. Diabetic management in the 60s. Blood glucose meters had not been invented yet.
When I was diagnosed with RA, I was too sick to understand the long term implications. I was grateful at the time to put a label on the devastating attack on my body. I love books and have always looked to books for solutions as well as for pleasure. Soon after my diagnosis, I purchased the book, The First Year Rheumatoid Arthritis by M.E.A. McNeil. With RA there is a major shift in your life. What to do? How to cope? What to think? It is overwhelming. This book set me on the right course. It helped me organize.