“Could I really be so sore from gardening yesterday? I seem to be more stiff each weekend.”
You know other people who have arthritis, but yours seems worse. Strangely, your complaints are symmetrical: the discomfort affects the same joint on both sides of your body, and bothers your larger joints (hip, shoulder), as well as the smaller joints of your hands.
What finally gets you to the doctor is a sense of weakness around the painful joints. It’s getting hard to reach up to comb your hair or you have to push with your hands to lift yourself out of a chair. The stiffness in the joints is impairing your strength as well as your range of motion. At that point you perhaps remember a couple episodes of fever with increased pain in your joints.