Hi, I've just found this site, and have been reading through the questions and blogs. It makes worrying reading and I hope, if I do have RA, that I can cope as well as you all seem to be doing.
in Sept last year I noticed my hands were a little stiff in the morning. It got gradually worse and I saw my GP in Oct when I couldn't bend my fingers fully until after I'd had a shower. I also had a few twinges of pain during the day. A blood test result was "non specific inflammation of the joints" and he told me to come back if the symptoms got worse. I returned in Dec, by which time I couldn't bend my fingers at all in the morning, my hands were noticeably swollen and the twinges of pain were becoming more frequent, but I saw a different GP, who told me that I don't have RA and "lots of things could cause these symptoms" I'm still waiting for an answer to my question about what these "lots of things" are! I was referred to a physiotherapist and told her that this was treating the symptoms and ignoring the cause, though I must admit that the exercises she set me did help with the stiffness during the day (hands were by now remaining slightly swollen and stiff most of the day, but not as badly as in the morning. The physio recommended I see a rheumatologist and I have an appointment in April. My hands remain stiff and swollen in the morning, improve after I've had my shower, but the stiffness and swelling doesn't ever go away completely. I still have twinges of pain in various joints mostly lasting just a few seconds to a few minutes, although I've had pain in my wrist which lasts all day - this is the only pain which makes me resort to painkillers - the rest is bearable. I also now have some twinges in my feet.
So is this the beginning of RA or is my GP correct and its something different entirely?