Do All Things With Love: A Year of Creaky Joints Essays

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.

Tattoos and Arthritis: Can You Safely Get Inked if You Have Arthritis?

When Rheumatoid Arthritis Made Things Feel Hopeless, Believing These 3 Principles Changed Everything

How I Explain Rheumatoid Arthritis To Others Who Don’t Have it and Don’t Get It

This Is How My Rheumatoid Arthritis Affects My 6 Year Old Son

The 8 Main Reasons I Went on Disability for My Rheumatoid Arthritis

What’s a Real Day in Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis? Here’s A Look at Mine

The 11 Moods of Rheumatoid Arthritis and How I’ve Learned To Cope With Them

The Bizarre Emotions of Dating When You Are 33 and Have Rheumatoid Arthritis

Mourning Your Old Life After a Rheumatoid Arthritis Diagnosis – And How to Move On

The Sneaky Perks To Dating Someone With Rheumatoid Arthritis

I’m Turning 34 But My Rheumatoid Arthritis Makes Me Feel Like I’m 87

This Is How Rheumatoid Arthritis Makes Me Feel Like I’m a Bad Friend

Here’s Why I Stopped Making New Year’s Resolutions After Having Rheumatoid Arthritis

The Good and Bad That Comes with Connecting with Other Arthritis Patients

A Message for the Medication and Diet Shamers Out There (from Someone with Rheumatoid Arthritis Who Is on Biologics and Eats Healthy)

The Letter I Wish I Sent Myself The Day I Was Diagnosed With Rheumatoid Arthritis

‘You Can’t Spell Gratitude Without RA’: One Patient’s Journey to Finally Accepting a Positive Outlook

Here’s What It’s Like to Be an Immunocompromised Rheumatoid Arthritis Patient in the Time of Coronavirus

A Plea to the World from an Immunosuppressed Single Mom to Flatten the Coronavirus Curve

Here’s How I’m Adjusting My Rheumatoid Arthritis Self-Care Routine for Coronavirus — and It’s Not Easy

A Thank-You Letter to the True Heroes of the Coronavirus Pandemic, from a Worried Rheumatoid Arthritis Patient