Saturday, 5 September 2015

New opportunity with Creaky Joints

Over the last few months -  while I've been neglecting this blog (!) - I've been settling into a new opportunity that arose for me as a blogger. The American organisation, Creaky Joints, has expanded to create an Australian branch. 

Creaky Joints is an organisation dedicated to promoting awareness, advocacy, and information on autoimmune arthritis. Autoimmune arthritis is NOT the arthritis you see remedy ads for on TV, or the type that your older friends and relatives may complain about - THAT is osteoarthritis. It is a component part of many autoimmune diseases, and presents very differently to osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the result of wear and tear on joints due to age or injury. It happens when the cartilage between the ends of bones in a joint wears away, leaving the surfaces of the bones rubbing against each other, causing pain. With autoimmune arthritis, systemic inflammation causes excess fluid build up in the joints, displacing them from normal alignment, resulting in abnormal wear and degenerative damage to the bones - erosions. One of the important aims of Creaky Joints is to create more understanding of the differences, and that autoimmune arthritis is NOT a complaint of age or injury - it can strike people of any age, and either gender.

I have Rheumatoid Arthritis (you can read the post I wrote about living with it HERE), an autoimmune disease causing my malfunctioning autoimmune system to attack my own tissues, particularly via my inflammatory system. The arthritis component is a symptom of the disease, not the primary aspect - the name of the disease causes untold confusion at times. It also causes chronic pain, fatigue (not just being tired - real fatigue from a chronic illness is a very different beast), flu-like symptoms, potential organ damage, potential eye and skin conditions, and many other nasty possibilities. Extremely severe cases can be terminal. 

I have been enormously privileged to join the ranks of the regular Creaky Joints bloggers. One of the vehicles for creating awareness is regular blog posts from both people with autoimmune diseases and medical personnel with and/or involved in the treatment of autoimmune arthritis. I am the second Australian based blogger, joining Arthritic Chick to offer a perspective uniquely about the Australian medical system and lived experience with a chronic illness.  

You can find my Creaky Joints posts HERE. Being a Creaky Joints blogger enables me to write more about living with this disease, and the various issues that are related. It's not something I want to focus on primarily in this blog - there are a lot of very find RA blogs out there, Arthritic Chick's being particularly good. I want this blog to be a place where I can write about all sorts of things that are important to me, and that are important partly through my experience as a parent, but as it develops, beyond that too...


  1. Congratulations on your involvement with Creaky Joints. I must admit that,although my own autoimmune condition falls under the 'arthritis' umbrella, I have never read any blogs about any specific form of 'arthritis' in particular. I didn't realise that RA shares so many of the same symptoms as MCTD. I knew about joints and damage to them, and also appreciate that it goes hand in hand with that dreadful fatigue that inflammatory conditions cause, but I did not know that, like my condition, RA can attack organs and so many other parts of the body until I read it here on your post, just now.
    You are right that the name of the condition really does confuse the issue. Gee, I receive correspondence from the Arthritis Association in my jurisdiction and I never even knew some of these things. I knew that arthritis could affect people at any age, but did not realise the extent.
    Looks like Creaky Joints have picked the right person for the job! Well done, Kaz!

    Thank you for bringing to my attention the Creaky Joints organisation and also the blog Arthritic Chick. I am especially keen to have a look at the latter because of its Australian perspective.

    1. Hi Jodie - I hope you find Creaky Joints helpful. Most of the chat sessions and events are still America based, but I'm sure as the Australian branch settles in there'll be local stuff to tap into. It's free to join up, and there's a FB page you can follow too.
      Arthritic Chick's actual diagnosis is MCTD too, so I'm sure you'll find her blog helpful. There's piles of info there and it's very well organised too, unlike mine!

    2. That's interesting. I had a look and she has done a great job of compiling lots of resources. While I touch on MCTD on my blog, I didn't want the illness to be a major focus of Lupey Loops, mainly for my own sanity! I couldn't bear to be chasing info about it all the time - it would depress me and I wouldn't be able to support others from that emotional position - so I am glad that Arthritic Chick can do that and I will just blog about my own issues as and when they arise (because my blog is my 'blog' and not an advertising channel or publicity machine).

    3. I never intended this blog to be an 'RA blog' - as would be obvious to anyone who's been reading it for a while. My reasons were much the same as yours, that and the fact that there are already so many out there, and I didn't want that to be my sole focus either. Creaky Joints have offered me a place where I CAN write about RA-based issues, because, obviously, they're part of my every day life - they're just everything. I think too, having had the disease for so long now, I get a bit over it a lot of the time and it's the LAST thing I want to write about most of the time! Meanwhile, with the exception of odd posts, and the upcoming even next week, it'll be something that's a small part of a much more diverse whole as I continue to write and the blog develops.