I have been reading lots of your posts and it has been really helpful but I am a bit confused following an appointment with my rheumatologist yesterday. I apologise in advance as this is a bit long!
I am 40 and was diagnosed in 2017 with PBC, it is an autoimmune disease that affects the liver. Around Christmas I started getting pain in both my wrists and by early January my hand were very stiff and sore. This continued to progress, I felt really ill and fatigued and was in lots of pain particularly in my shoulders. I could hardly do anything for about 5 weeks, getting out of bed was a struggle, I needed help getting dressed and my kids had to squeeze the toothpaste for me! It was difficult to sleep as every time I moved I woke up with the pain. My hepatologist referred me for an urgent appointment with a rheumatologist as he said it could be RA as once you have one autoimmune diseases you are more likely to get another one.
The first time I saw the rheumatologist he did tests to check for viruses incase it was viral arthritis and did an ultra sound on my hands and wrists which showed some inflammation. My previous blood tests showed that my ESR and ferritin levels were high.
At the minute I am nowhere near as bad as I was. However, I still have pain and stiffness in my hands, wrists and shoulders particularly in the evening, during the night and in the morning. My knees are also quite stiff in the morning and sore when I am trying to get to sleep. I saw him again yesterday and was in and out in 5 minutes. He said it was not viral and that I was negative for RF and anti-CCP antibodies. He said that I was in a chronic phase and that I needed a steroid injection and that after that he would look at medication (I can't take lots of medications because of my liver condition). I said so it is not RA then, and he said yes it is seronegative but could develop into seropositive.
So now I am confused because from what I read here seronegative is a form of RA! Do you think this mean I do have seronegative RA? I appreciate I should've pushed him more yesterday but I had been trying not to read too much before my appointment and hadn't heard of seronegative before.
Thank you so much if you have managed to read this essay! Any thoughts/advice would be appreciated.