Hi everyone! I’ve been struggling for about four months now with what my doctor insists is either rheumatic arthritis or lupus arthritis. I finally get to have my appointment with the rheumatologist this coming thursday, and I’m really nervous about it. I am only 21, so this is a huge shock for me. Had no idea rheumatoid arthritis could happen so young. I first noticed the pains while I was painting one day (I’m an art minor, so I’m very concerned about how these pains will affect my work in the fall too) and a flick of my wrist caused a very unusual pain. I figured I had just slept on it wrong or something, but within a week it seemed like every joint in my body was aching. My ankles, which have always been real skinny and bony, look like they’re the size of a baseball on bad days. More than anything, I don’t know how to deal with this sudden inability to do things I could do before with no problem. I can deal with the pain, but then there are things like how I can’t go down stairs at a normal pace and it’s embarrassing! I know the people I’m with and the people behind me get frustrated at how I have to do them one at a time, going sideways so I don’t hurt my feet. My coworkers think I’m lazy because I don’t want to get on my knees to arrange boxes or get the little ten pound box off the top shelf – is it normal to have difficulty lifting something that weighs so little because of the wrists? Sometimes I have trouble even lifting a full glass of water with one hand.. I am glad that I found this website. Hope it can make me feel less alone in all this.