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So, earlier this week I noticed some stiffness/pain in the first knuckle of my right index finger. The joint there is swollen and a bit mishapen, and I don't recall jamming it.

A few days ago, the same thing started to happen in the same joint on my left hand.

The right side is more swollen and stiff. I can make a fist, but there's discomfort. The pain is not severe. It is, however, noticeable, especially when I bend the joints.
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Hey RA is only one form of a plethora of arthritis and it has got very precise diagnosis (bloodwork must have some distinct values!) so you don't need to think about RA only because of your joint pain! You could have just a form of sporadic arthritis caused by ibd (sort of common issue for us), or just some joint pain that is entirely not arthritis.

I know some people with RA, in the acute days they can't even walk or stand up.

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