I have a set of symptoms that made my rheumatologist feel pretty sure I had RA. These include finger joint pain, toe pain (especially my big toes), milder elbow pain, ankle pain, and knee pain, When I wake up my fingers are so stiff I can’t bend them for like an hour. They stiffen again if I stop moving them for more than 15-20 minutes. The pain and stiffness is on both sides, but worse on my right side. She ran bloodwork and everything was normal. She got x-rays of both hands and they were read as normal. So, now she’s not so sure.
What I know: the pain gradually increased over several months, peaking in January. As it increased so did my fatigue level. It was so bad it woke me up if I moved. Now it has gradually improved and is now moderate. I seem to be losing the ability to grip things, even when I don’t have pain. Dishes and glasses are starting to slip out of my grasp even if they aren’t heavy.
I’m frantic to have some kind of a diagnosis, or really a treatment. I can’t pull up a skirt in the morning, much less brush my teeth. This dropping things is a real problem. I need advice on how to function with limited use of my hands, and how to manage the symptoms. OTC NSAIDs do nothing. Neither does either heat or cold.
Thanks for any advice anyone has.