When diagnosed with a new ailment, I try to educate myself on what it is, what to expect, and how it works as much as I can. I don't go to medical school or anything but I do a lot of reading, listening and asking questions.
I think I feel more comfortable with ailments when I understand them and can comprehend how they are affecting my body and my well being. Its helpful to me to know what is common vs what is unexpected and requires further attention.
At my RA diagnosis, I thought I knew a fair amount about it because my mother has had it for decades. But apparently I did not. It has been a learning curve. I finally thought, 8 months after diagnosis, that I was getting some where.
Then yesterday a friend sent me a link to a series of two articles in the New York Times which are questions answered by a rheumatologist on RA and its treatment. Then I found out how much more I didn't know. I read the comments at the end and found there is still even more I need to know about.
You can call me slow but I probably have decades where I can continue to learn about it even more.
If you want to educate your self on RA, here are parts one and two.