Hello and season greetings to all! I’ve been lurking, reading, and learning here for a couple of weeks and am now jumping in with my first post!
On Thursday, I have my first referral appointment with the rheumatology department, with suspected early RA.
After presenting to my GP with stiffness and tingling in my hands, she ordered floods tests and hand X-rays. All of these blood tests which included a full blood test, diabetes, and ESR were ‘normal’ but the X-ray showed the results ‘could be consistent with early RA so she requested a referral and sent me for more blood tests - CCP antibody and serum ANA pattern. The serum ANA result says ‘normal’, whilst the CCP antibody has come back as positive.
I may be jumping the gun but based on what I’ve read (Googling is not always a good habit!), I won’t be surprised if the diagnosis is early RA.
So, my main questions are: what can I expect from this first appointment and what questions should I be asking?
I’ve written a few notes down, like any possible symptoms I’ve been getting and questions about patterns of treatment - this is my primary worry as I travel a lot. But are there any specific questions, that with the benefit of hindsight, you wished you’d asked or pressed harder on in those initial stages?
A friend said, don’t automatically accept the first set of meds that are suggested (particularly in relation to methotrexate because of the possible side effects), but I have no idea how to question something like this and am inclined to feel I have to trust that doctor knows best.
Many thanks, and I appreciate any feedback at what I appreciate is a crazy time for many of you!