Hi. This is the first time i have posted here so I’ll try to be brief but probably won’t manage that so please bare with me.
Over the past couple of years I’d been suffering with occasional episodes of painful swellings in a number of joints, most noticeably my wrists & fingers but also my knees & ankles. The knees & ankles I’d simply passed off as wear & tear from my football playing youth & more recently from abusing them on long treks whilst out following my passion for hill walking. The hands & wrists were probably a just mild RSI from my work, or so I’d convinced myself. These occasional instances then gradually started to become everyday occurrences from last October, especially in my wrists, fingers & shoulders. It felt like I was coming home from work each day and spending all my time wrapped in ice compresses just to get through my next shift. I've also lost all my energy. Some days now it feels such a huge effort to do anything. Even walking my Dog, which used to be my favourite part of the day, can now feel such a chore.
Being the world’s worst patient & a typical bloke I suppose, I finally bit the bullet and went to the Doctor. A few blood tests down the line and they have finally checked my RA factor. This has come back at a level of 299 and my Doctor has now immediately referred me on to see a Rheumatologist.
This is where I guess I’m jumping the gun. I understand a high RA factor level doesn’t necessarily mean I have got RA and can be a multitude of other things but from reading the informative blogs on here I can’t help but thinking “Yeah that’s exactly what I’m like.” This has brought a whole heap of questions & worries to my mind. As I turned 40 last year, I worry what it’ll mean to me & my wife as we’re hoping to start a family this year & time is running out. What should I be telling/asking the Rheumatologist & what will happen at my appointment? Is an RA factor of 299 very high and should I be worried? Or even looking ahead will this put an end to my mountain walking or should I just be grateful that I can still manage this? I feel a bit of a fraud as I seem to be getting off very lightly when I read how badly this illness has affected others on here.
I guess until the more informed Rheumatologist has decided what exactly is wrong with me I’m still in the dark but in the meantime any advice or RA knowledge shared would be extremely welcome.