Hi everyone. I’m a female in my 60’s and I have several autoimmune diseases but I’ve only ever had one serious acute attack of autoimmune arthritis, 18 years ago.
On that occasion I was negative for rheumatoid factors but had several other raised inflammatory markers/antibodies. That attack responded well to heavy doses of steroids etc that were eventually prescribed, but I was left with permanent damage to my fingers due to a slow start to treatment. Now after this long period with only a few episodes of mild pain/swelling which settled within a few weeks, I have a couple of new swollen finger joints that may be a bit more significant. I’m aware that I’d wait 2 weeks to get a GP appointment and might wait months more for an initial assessment at a hospital (?)
My question, please, is whether there’s advice or guidelines on the time frame for getting help for a new onset or does this just depend on individual GPs? I know you can’t comment on my medical condition, but I’d be very grateful for your knowledge and experience on whether there is now a focus on early intervention to avoid permanent damage. Of course, this attack may settle on its own, but I want to understand things better in case it doesn’t.
Thank you for reading, and I really appreciate any comments.