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...