I will start by saying that I do have a rheumy appointment this coming Monday, after getting a new primary that actually listened to my needs. I just hope it's not too late. I'm 29, overweight, but I do walk roughly 30 minutes a day in some capacity due to working in NYC.
I won't go into great depths, but the first Saturday in November, I was raking outside when both hands became incredibly stiff, and the pads of two fingers swelled. This lasted several hours. The following two weeks, I had what could be described as carpal tunnel/ulnar nerve entrapment symptoms, and then the middle knuckles in both hands became red, and warm to the touch. Currently, the redness is VERY persistent on all of the large knuckles of both hands, with the "pip" joints occasionally as well. I don't have frequent pain, but I do get pain in the large joint in my right thumb, as well as my right index finger, especially with prolonged mouse/cellphone use, writing, etc. I also get pain in the small and large toes of my right foot, and tightness in both knees randomly (not after sleeping ever, mostly during work/commute). The only "morning stiffness" I have is inconsistent , and lasts usually no longer then 10 minutes, although I on occasion get stiff during the day.
I had 12 different blood tests run in mid-November (RA factor, C-reactive, sjogrens, ETC) and nothing showed abnormal outside of rather low vitamin D levels. I DID show *some* inflammation in the test (i was 17, where the high normal was 20+), and my new PCP had me get hand xrays, which did show some signs of possible wear, but at this point very minor.
I've always been anxious, and have dealt with depression for a lot of my life. Obviously, these symptoms are only exasperating that problem, and making things harder for me. Like most diseases, browsing online leads you to believe that RA is essentially a sentence to death, or becoming crippled, which is terrifying. Does anyone here have any positive stories?
Update 4-8-2015, I somehow missed the ability to edit posts! My rheumy appointment didn't go AT ALL like how I wanted, and I left with zero answers and even more confusion. The doctor told me that my #'s would be higher if I had RA, and he had no clue why my knuckles were red. I decided pretty much right away that I wouldn't return back to him, so tomorrow I'll be seeing my primary again about seeing another rheumatologist, and I'll also be requesting him to do new blood work for me to see if my #'s have progressed at all. Symptoms have stayed roughly about the same, although I feel like the joint pain is more consistent now in certain fingers...but still not frequent.
Interestingly enough, while I was away on Vacation, I didn't have AS MANY issues with hand tightness and redness. Walking around in the desert (Las Vegas) at one point did cause my hands to become very, very tight, it didn't last for a long period of time however. I suffered far less instances of pain and tightness which I found curious.