I'm new here and would love some help. My finger joint swelled up out of nowhere in January and then I became very stiff, sore and swollen in February. It affects both hands and feet. The fatigue was dreadful and I couldn't manage work and family life (children 7 and 5). I also had a persistent low grade temperature and I couldn't open doors or do my daughter's hair etc. I had two steroid shots, both of which helped with stiffness and the fatigue fog lifted in June (though I'm still nowhere near normal energy levels). I started sulphasalazine in May but didn't do well on it and had to stop. My rheumatologist is currently adopting a wait and see approach which is good (after the dreadful reaction to sulphasalazine I'm in no rush to start another DMARD), on the other hand I feel the year is slipping away and I'm not tackling this. I've been taking etoricoxib at night which has helped with stiffness and I no longer wake up in the night.
My problem is that I'm so up and down. One day I'm uncomfortable but think this will pass and then the next two days I can't see a way out. My main symptoms are pain in specific joints in hands and feet, reduced energy and sometimes a feeling of unwellness. My hands look relatively normal but my rings don't fit and the hands themselves feel hot and stiff.
I'm HLAB27 positive but my bloods are unremarkable. My initial diagnosis after ultrasound showed moderate synovitis in hands and feet was reactive/early, seronegative RA. I am hyper mobile apparently but have no other features of a hypermobility syndrome. The physio thought I might have a t4 syndrome but this doesn't fit as amongst other things, the pain is very clearly in my joints rather than travelling down my limbs.
Until this started I was a healthy and active 37 year old. The nebulous but persistent and debilitating nature of this has made me lose confidence in myself and I am wondering whether it's all in my head. My husband counters this by pointing out that my rings often don't fit and my hands look odd. I am happy in my life and work (I'm a teacher) has been, and continues to be, very supportive of me.
I would be really grateful to hear of anyone's experiences in this area. I've read around and it sounds in many ways like early RA but I wondered if this could be something else given I don't have strong morning stiffness any more which seems to be a key feature?
Any help or advice will be very gratefully received!