I have it for about 3 years, however I refused RA medication up until Sept of 09. I wanted to try everything else prior to starting the meds. I tried modifying my diet, physical therapy, herbal supplements, allergy testing, you name it i tried it! Then when the reality hit me that i was no longer able to get out of bed for at least 2 hours after waking up...i knew i had to do something! i went to the Dr and they ran the gambit as far as testing to confirm that it was RA (MRI's, xrays, blood work, etc...) Then once I had the testing confirmed then I went to two other Dr.s to get 2nd and 3rd opinions...Then after all that I went back to my Rheumatologist and she said that if i didn't start meds soon i would be disabled in a year. I immediately began the medicine. Right now I am taking Methotrexate 17.5mg (chemotherapy drug to stop the 'bad' cells from reproducing), Prednisone 10mg daily (steroid used to control the inflammation), Folic Acid, Vicoprophen (Vicodin with IBProphen to control pain when needed). My next appt i am planning to talk to Dr. about Embril because I have heard a lot of good things about that!
Your Dr. should be able to get you on the right meds but make sure to see a Rheumatologist they are the ones that have specific training in dealing with RA and they will be able to rule out any other possible causes.
The drugs that are used to treat RA are very serious drugs and the decision to take them should never be taken lightly.
With that said, since you have only received a tentative diagnosis I would insist to have the docs do more testing to confirm and or rule out anything else before proceeding with treatment. The tricky thing is that you have to start treating it in the early stages to prevent damage however the Dr.s can only get a definite diagnosis with seeing at least some damage occur...~ Catch 22...I hope that i answered your questions and please let me know what you find out! ~Addy