I wrote a question a little while ago about how long a first rheumatology appointment should last as mine was very short and sweet with a negative diagnosis. The rheumatologist diagnosed carpal tunnel linked to my thyroid condition and discharged me. When I went back to my GP to ask about the carpal tunnel treatment and he went over all my symptoms again and said he still thinks I have a rheumatoid condition. He also said he did not want to do steroid injections into my wrists without a second opinion and suggested I go privately to see a rheumatologist to avoid a long wait. He re-ran my bloods to include with the referral and my esr has now increased from 26 to 37 and my rheumatoid factor is 57. Following a chat with him today I called Spire today for a private appointment and guess what? They can't see me until March! I just don't know whether to scream or cry? I've left a message at my surgery to ask for an NHS referral as I don't see the point in paying (out of my ESA) to still wait 2 months. I'm at my wits end. I'm just so worried about the damage that could be taking place in my joints. Sorry to rant but I'm just so frustrated by all this. I lost my job as an administrator in May but can't look for work as my fingers are so painful and swollen. I've been like this for 6 months now and all I have is paracetamol. I'm not sleeping properly and the stress of not knowing is making me depressed. I never imagined it would be so hard to get an appointment with a rheumatologist. It would be easier to get an audience with the Pope! Can I scream now? Aaaaarghhhhhhhh!!!!