107 | P a g e 5. STACK 2013 : swelling. My joints are “puffed out”. I have pain. It has crept up on me. It started as trivial and is now severe and has a significant impact on my function. RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS 6. STACK 2011 : The early RA symptom experience At the beginning I sought help when my symptoms (pain, stiffness, swelling and fatigue) got very severe. I was worried because they came on very suddenly and everyday tasks were dramatically affected so I went to the doctor very quickly. For some, the symptoms come on slowly and can be vague or transitory so it is difficult to pinpoint when it started. A change in symptoms can help people to know when to seek help or when it just goes on too long. RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS 7. STACK 2011 : Accessing health services and attitudes towards healthcare professionals I don’t have confidence in my HCPs competence and knowledge so I don’t want to go. They might blame me for my illness because of my lifestyle. I am a bit overweight and like a drink. They might dismiss my symptoms OR make me feel guilty or like I am a ‘hypochondriac’. Also I don’t want to waste their time. Some people go quickly to the doctor when they have symptoms they may have had better experiences. RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS 8. STACK 2011 : Making sense of early symptom experience and prototypes of RA I didn’t know anything about RA before I got it. I might have gone to the doctor sooner. Everyone knows about cancer & heart disease. They don’t think joint problems are serious. Is RA actually an illness what do I do can anything be done Is it just old people that get it is it caused by ‘wear and tear’? It has been creeping up for ages. I don’t need help. Is it caused by stress in my life work injury childbirth ‘overdoing it’? It might just be temporary. Is it related to other illness or osteoarthritis? I didn’t think it was RA. I have no family history so it can’t be that. RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
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