My story!

Hi im new here, my story starts with stiff and painful feet in mornings amd when if sat down at all during day, then a few months ago i started to feel generally run down exhausted is the word, muscles in my legs an arms felt like dead weight and even the smallest of jobs took alot of effort.

I have a underactive thyroid so put alot of this down to that but then i started to get pains in my fingers of my right hand, a physio friend said it sounded like carpel tunnel which seemed to settle down but just a few months on i now have pains in both hands coming from my fingers and wrists also my feet.

I can go a few days a week ok but then i'll get into bed an i start to feel the pains starting, my fingers generally feel swollen almost like theres an elastic band on my arms with throbbing pains which can be anywhere from my toes to my ankles an my knees.

I am 40 but if anyone could see me in the mornings id look about 90.

I went to my gp an explained everything and asked if any of this could be to do with my thyroid but she said no as levels are perfect under my medication, she immediately looked at my hands and noted that my right hand was more swollen over my knuckles and suggested my symptoms sounded similer to RA, she did alround blood tests and i came home and googled RA i found the NRAS site and was amazed when reading about other peoples problems it was like they were talking about me, at first upset but then abit of me was relieved i might know whats going on, that is until yesterday!!

My blood results did'nt show anything, i am off for xrays this morning of my hands and feet and my gp is going to refer me to a rheumologist anyway.

I am now completely confused everything fits i suppose my question is can you have a completely normal blood result and still have RA.

When i read back it sounds like i actually want RA, obviously this is not the case, i would'nt wish this on anyone but with feeling as bad as i have recently and it seems to be getting worse almost daily answers are what i want

Sorry for waffling on but finding this site and reading comments from people who seem to be going through the same as me has been a lifeline

Cheers nicky.

8 Replies

Hi Nicky

Sorry to hear how you are feeling, to answer your question yes you can have ra and not have the rheumatiod factor showing in your blood.

Good news your doctor is sending you to a rheumatolagist x

Hope you get some answers soon x

Take care x

Julie x X


Hi nicky, I have been diagnosed for about 10 months and my blood tests have never showed anything so don't worry about that. Also my xrays didnt either, it wasn't until I had an MRI scan that the inflammation showed up. There are lots of things they can do and everybody on here has there own story and tips etc. Your in a safe place to ask questions, or have a rant on those days nobody understands. The nras have some good leaflets for people new to RA not just the person with it but family, carers and employees.

Good luck and remember we are all here if you have more questions.

Take care

Marnie x


Hi Nicky, like the others have said yes your bloods may appear normal but that's only half the story, your getting referred to a Rheumatologist so that's a good thing. He will be able to do all the other tests you need to confirm what you need to know.

Sometimes they have to go on your symptoms alone even though there is no positive result, he will decide what is the best course of treatment for you. Remember though when you see him/her tell them everything and I mean everything that's what helps them make a proper diagnosis.

You may need to ask them lots of question too so it's good to write them down as you think of them, it's easy to forget when you see them face to face.

There's also lots of us on here with many personal experiences of RA, we are all different in how it affect us and what treatment we have, but in the end we still have RA and can give you lots of support.

Take care

mand xx


DearNivky, welcome.. hope you get some answers/ diagnosis asap

Alison x


Hi Nicky Your story is so familiar. No you don't want RA but like we all recognise you want to know what it is so that you can fight it and you know where you stand.

Blood test results do seem to vary so between everyone, and so it is no wonder that RA is so difficult to diagnose. It could also be that like my GP the initial tests they did were different to what the hospital did? Something to do with saving money??

Any road up. When you get to your appointment, like the others have said, make sure you tell them how you feel physically and mentally, and tell them everything!

Good luck.

Julie xx


Hello Nicky - all the others have said it all so just to say welcome! I'm only a step or two ahead of you myself. I would just advise you not to expect too much from the rheumatologist initially because my GP tells me it can take a while to make a conclusive diagnosis - especially when bloods are not revealing anything untoward. These symptoms can be down to other types of arthritis, hormonal changes and other diseases as well so they need to confirm that tthey are treating RA, not some other condition requiring less toxic medication. It might be a case of "welcome to limbo land" where I am currently - but that's not all bad (although it does mess with your head right enough!) as long as the disease isn't actively damaging your joints. Good luck, Tilda


Hi Nicky. Good luck with your appt with the consultant. Make sure you tell him/her exactly what symptoms you have and how it is affecting you.

Welcome to the site - we are all here to help if and when we can. As others have already said, RA seems to affect different people in different ways. My bloods have always shown the inflammation which has been a great help in treatment.

LavendarLady x


Hi everyone

Thankyou for all your replies, it's lovely not to feel so alone :)

I have only spoke to a few people about what i'm going through, my partner has been great helping at my work as mush as possible as i work with horses and mucking out is not the easiest of jobs when my hands are having a bad day, my eldest son again is trying to help me around the house, i have'nt told my 16 yr old or 8 yr old and the 16 yr is being his normal i hate my parents thing lol and does'nt seem to notice anything wrong, which is why i think this site is fabulous to be able to talk amd relate to what other peopla are going through

Thankyou again nicola


You may also like...