I really feel for you all reading your stories. I am still in the area of the unknown regarding an RA diagnosis but can't imagine what else it can be.
(I have PTSD and have had chronic insomnia since 38 yrs of age and very low Vit D.)
About 6 years ago, when I was 48, I started a low carb diet. Within 8 days I had a throbbing toe. Doctor diagnosed gout. I had never had a joint pain in my life before this. Yet, I also noticed I had a stiff hip which was odd. I soon experienced non-symmetrical, migratory joint pains all over my body changing every couple of days. One morning my jaw felt like I had been punched. Another day it could be a painful elbow. My joints seem constantly inflamed but not visibly red. E.g. Knocking on a door is painful on my knuckles as is kneeling for my knees.
Rheumatology found nothing in fairly extensive blood tests and vaguely spoke of arthritis on the basis that my morning joint stiffness subsided fairly quickly and there was no redness. (If this is arthritis then the 'wear and tear' cliche is nonsense in my opinion.) Over the years, the pains have become more symmetrical in ankles, knees, hips, lower back, elbows and shoulders. I get bursitis in my knees very easily if I walk far. My neck glands have been inflamed for nearly 2 years now and I am not entitled to medical cover at the moment as I am living abroad indefinitely.
I hope it is not RA but I can't imagine what else it can be. I wonder if in the 33% of cases that blood tests are negative whether they always become positive after a period of time? Any idea of timescale if this is the case? All the best to you.
Right now, what RA tips would most be helpful for you?