So what is Arthritis?
Isn’t it that weird squeaky bone thing that old people get?
Unfortunately this is a misconception, Arthritis can occur at any age, some people are even born with it!
According to Arthritis Care
there are 12000 children in the UK with Arthritis, and approximately 27000 people living with Arthritis under the age of 25.
I myself was diagnosed at the age of 8, and you can read my riveting life story here ; Against All Odds.
When I was diagnosed my Rheumatologist explained to me that everyone has Cancer cells and Arthritic cells in their bodies, and whether it’s through a genetic disposition or an environmental factor such as a freak accident it takes something to trigger it.
I would tell you what my trigger was, but that would be spoiling the exciting story you’ve yet to read! 😉
There are 2 common types of Arthritis:
But what is Arthritis?
Arthritis is an auto immune disease that causes inflammation in the joints, however it’s not localised to only joints, it can also affect the muscles and bones too.
It is not clear what causes Arthritis, and at present there is no cure.
Systemic Onset Juvenile idiopathic Arthritis, (SJIA) is a type of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
This is what I was diagnosed with; Systemic, relating system especially. juvenile , because I was diagnosed under the age of 16. Idiopathic, meaning the disease and it’s cause is unknown. Arthritis,disease causing pain and stiffness within the joints.
There are 4 types of JIA, but most people with the disease refer to it as JIA, I know I certainly do!
How does Rheumatoid Arthritis affect the body?
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an inflammatory disease mainly affecting joints and tendons. An inflamed joint looks swollen and red and appears warm to the touch.
The disease usually starts in the wrist, hands or feet and spreads to other joints and other parts of the body.The main symptoms are joint pain and swelling.
Usually the inflammation is the bodies way of healing, in Arthritis however the immune system starts to attack the body instead of defending it.
The inflammation affects:
*The thin synovial membrane that lines the joint capsule
*The tendon sheath tubes in which the tendons move.
*The bursa (sacs of fluid that allow the the muscles and tendons to move smoothly over each other).
The joints and inflamed tissues then become stiff, painful and swollen.
So how has this affected me?
For the most part, my Arthritis was so severe I hobbled around everywhere like the Hunchback of Notre Dame! I was even offered a zimmerframe, my response went something along the lines of:
“I’m not walking round looking like a Granny”
So you can probably guess that my consultants loved me! ;
Actually I think they did, on more than one occasion I was congratulated for taking it all in my stride, and not freaking the hell out every time I had to have an injection… Pin cushion was my ghetto name, the homies called me pinky for short.
I really hope you laughed at that, and not currently searching for the psychiatric unit number on Google!
It sounded funny to me…
Anyway I suppose I just wanted to debunk some myths about Arthritis, and essentially tell you that it’s about as fun as knives under your nails.
I’m going to write a few more posts relating to my journey with the big A, so if you want to be bored to tears about treatments, medications, what it has taught me and the lighter side of Arthritis, then please stick around 🙂
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If you have any questions regarding Arthritis, or a specific post about my journey with it, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below, or find me on the following:
Much love, Sassy x