I don't think that I can tell based on your description of your symptoms whether or not this represents rheumatoid arthritis
. I do think that your symptoms warrant investigation by a physician. My first concern is that you required several doses of prednisone over the past year what sounds like breathing problems. If you have asthma
, then this might be appropriate but I would hope that she would be on the right medications to prevent these things from happening. Rheumatoid arthritis results in symptoms of joint pain particularly in the fingers and wrists. The pain tends to occur differently at different times during the day. People with rheumatoid arthritis will always complain that they have morning stiffness that starts to loosen up about an hour after they get up. If you think this describes you when it comes to your finger joint pains, then I do think you probably need a further workup. I would suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician
. There is a few basic blood test that they will send off that will help rule in or rule out rheumatoid arthritis. I do not think that the investigation should be that expensive as these tests are fairly standard. The test that I would send would include x-rays of both of your hands, an ESR, a rheumatoid factor, and an anti-CCP antibody.