About a year ago I started tweeting and posting on the rheumatoid arthritis facebook communities I run several Creaky Joints articles after having found relatable and useful information in them. I knew my arthritis community would appreciate these.
What is Creaky Joints?
CreakyJoints is a digital community for millions of arthritis patients and caregivers worldwide who seek education, support, advocacy, and patient-centered research. All of their programming and services are always provided free of charge.
Their mission statement reflects a lot of my own mission.
Our mission at CreakyJoints is to inspire, empower and support arthritis patients to put themselves at the center of their care by providing evidence-based education and tools that help them make informed decisions about the daily and long-term management of arthritis. We want to live our lives, despite our arthritis.
A Connection Was Made
One day I got a message from them on twitter – they were interested in what I was doing as a blogger and patient advocate, an interview was set up with my soon to be editor. At that point I had been interviewed a few times about my story but I was impressed with how thorough her interview was and the questions she asked showed me she really understood the needs of the arthritis community. Out of all the features I have had, and by now I have had a few, that interview bests describes what it was like being diagnosed to becoming an advocate.
I didn’t really realize that they wanted to pick up my writing. Being able to vocalize my concerns and thoughts as a rheumatoid arthritis patient for my community at a large was my dream job as far as a patient advocate and blogger goes. Writing has been a rewarding and cathartic experience that has also helped me put food on the table for my son and I.
A highlight of 2019 was attending the American College of Rheumatology conference in Atlanta Georgia and meeting the crew at Creaky Joints. It put a face to the people who by that point knew a lot about me. Plus they do amazing work which means so much to the arthritis community so I fangirl them a bit.
Blogging, writing, whatever you wish to call it isn’t easy when you live with arthritis. Like mostly anything I do now in life, it is painful and exhausting, arthritis is pretty much my whole body, both RA and OA – typing, sitting isn’t always a joyful experience. I sometimes have to go to dark places in my past to get out my full story – a place where I may be healed from now but still the memories and touching base with those emotions are difficult to go through and process again. Emotions can trigger my fatigue and so can too much screen time, I write from the heart most of all and have touched on some very personal subjects, it’s a bit intimidating showing the world your deepest vulnerabilities but advocacy is bigger than myself when I think of my community and others suffering. I give as much as my body will let me, some days I feel I can barely string a sentence together, which is weird when you call yourself a freelance writer.
I am grateful for all that Creaky Joints does my community and how they let me voice my concerns and help others through my writing.
Here is a year of articles I have written or been featured in with Creaky Joints.