I never thought of myself as an overly anxious or nervous person, but oh how that has changed. Although only recently being diagnosed and confirmed with a high anti-CCP, positive MRI for erosions, and clinical evaluation I'm quite certain that I've had this for at least the past two years. My RA started in my feet. I am a former elite athlete and saw countless Orthopedic doctors for one 'overuse' injury after another. We always chalked it up to sport. We went so far as having foot surgery on both feet 18 months ago. I say 'we' because I always trusted my doctors. My foot surgeon did not suspect RA even after I told him the reason I came to see him was severe pain on the balls of my feet that would have me limping to the toilet every morning. 6 months after the surgery I continued to have pain in my feet and per my doctors advice was given cortisone shots to help reduce swelling and it worked for about 4 months all the while the RA was wrecking havoc on my shoulders, hip and finally my hands. I woke up scared to death when I couldn't hold a cup of coffee, use the toilet or brush my hair. My GP sent me to a hand surgeon thinking it was again an issue with overuse. ( I was racing my bike in the Pyrenees for weeks on end ) When I suggested to the hand surgeon that I thought it might be RA he laughed a wicked laugh and turned the rest of the consultation into a psyche evaluation and lectured me on the "great need for us to embrace growing older" I left feeling utterly depressed and lost. It took another 3 weeks before I saw a Rheumatologist. When I got home after the diagnosis I cried. The following weeks I scoured the internet and only ended up more depressed and lost. I know it's really important to learn as much as possible about this disease ( especially when your experience with the doctors leaves you wondering how they missed what they did or left you feeling like it was all in your head) but doing all of that research has really made me crazy and scared, and unbelievably depressed. Just feeling really bad right now and wonder if anyone felt the same in the beginning and what helped you get through some of the hard stuff? Thank you!