It's a huge board, I "misplace" my posts all the time.
Heberden's nodes are small, bony knobs may appear on the end joints (near your nails) on your fingers. Bouchard's nodes are the same thing on the middle joints. They're caused by osteoarthritis, which despite it's innocuous 'gramma disease' reputation, can be very painful and debilitating and can strike in early middle age.
In RA the joints are swollen with synovial fluid (mushy to the touch, boggy), pink warm to red hot and first thing in the morning, they may be temporarily contracted (bent). RA often attacks the finger joints closest to the hand, knuckles and middle. It also tends to attack symmetrically.
SED rate, even a high one, can't diagnose RA. The SED rate is just an indication of inflammation in the body - and it varies person to person, day to day, a virus, stress, even exercise can elevate it. A friend of mine with severe MS had a SED rate over 200.
Rheumatoid Factor (RF) is another not-so-accurate test that can change over time. I have severe active RA and I've never tested positive for RF, yet other people can test positive for it and never develop arthritis at all.
C-reactive Protein (CRP) is a newer test for RA. It's another inflammation marker like SED rate with so-so accuracy as other illnesses can cause it to go up.
There's no single test for RA. It's the combination of lab tests with physical findings, carefully taken medical history, and x-rays that make the diagnosis.
See a Rheumatologist if you can - they treat OA too.