Your story is certainly not unique unfortunately, many people feel the same way that you do. And the doctors do write us off as "nuts" if we aren't cut and dry. Now that being said, your situation IS cut and dry!! It is NOT normal to have a high Rheumatoid Factor (I assume thats what you meant by RA). That test can indicate Lupus OR Rheumatoid Arthritis in some patients. Just because your ANA test is not positive does NOT mean that you dont have Lupus. That Rheumy sounds like a butthead too! There are so many of them out there. Please NEVER take what they tell you to be "The Law". Often they try and tell us stuff that isn't right! You need a good Rheumatologist that specializes in Lupus patients. It would be good to get treated so that you can feel better and get on with it! And the heart stuff is not fun either, you may have Pericarditis, which is inflammation in the heart muscle. You are the typical Lupus patient, I can't believe that they won't diagnose you. Well, I am cut and dry and had to travel all the way to London England to get diagnosed because they were not good to me here. They had me written off as crazy but i got out before they killed me! I went to St. Thomas Hospital in London and saw Dr. Graham Hughes. What a man! He is the best of the best in Lupus. Had me diagnosed in an hour! The important thing here is that 1) Your GP believes you and 2) You find a good Rheumatologist
You also need to get your medical charts and "pull out" all the odd stuff from over the years. Take pictures of your rash too.. for future reference. Did your GP do a biopsy of it to see if it is Rosacea? If not, tell him that you want it biopsied and I bet he will squirm. This rash is probably a LUpus rash, and if you have it biopsied by a Dermatologist it will probably come back saying "Lupus!" Anyway; please feel free to jump in with us and its nice to meet you!!