Welcome to the RA forum Tyno
I understand how the pain meds affect you. I have Crohn's Disease and the strongest pain med for me is Panadol all the others cause my gut excrutiating pain - not worth taking them.
Thats a long waiting list to get in to see a Rheumy - I hope you can get that speeded up.
Dont be scared to take maintenance meds for your RA - I know most of them sound hideously scary - but you want to have quality of life and being maintained by meds will give you that - although it can take a while to find the right med.
Good luck and keep posting.
PS - Are you looking forward to the winter Olympics coming up over there?
Crohn's Disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis
Bowel Resection Sept. 07