What better way to celebrate World Arthritis Day, than with a blog post? I know it’s been a long time, and I always say I will blog more regularly, but to be fair, I work 40 hours a week, I’ve had a lot on, and I’ve just had surgery.

Yes, that’s right, I’ve been under the knife again! And, just like last time, it was ulnar nerve decompression surgery, meaning I now have matching scars on both my elbows. But more on that later – I PROMISE!

Today, I just wanted to say a little bit about a couple of campaigns that Arthritis Research UK is running at the moment, and which I would love you to participate in if you are able. But first, some facts…

Did you know?

  • 10 million people in the UK have a form of arthritis
  • 12,000 children and young people have juvenile idiopathic arthritis in the UK
  • Each year, between 1,000 and 1,500 children are diagnosed with JIA
  • JIA is a term used to cover a number of different conditions. ‘Juvenile’ means the condition started when you were under 16; ‘Idiopathic’ means that there is no identifiable cause for the condition; ‘Arthritis’ means that there is swelling in the joints
  • There are several different forms of JIA, with oligoarthritis being the most common.
  • Systemic-onset JIA can affect parts of the body other than the joints, and usually starts with a fever or rash as well as joint pain. This is the type of JIA that I have
  • Early diagnosis of arthritis can make a significant difference to how the disease progresses. Even starting treatment within 12 weeks of onset can mean the condition is more likely to go into remission and cause less damage to the body
  • This month, coincidentally, marks 23 years since I was diagnosed with JIA

For the next six weeks, launching today on World Arthritis Day, Arthritis Research UK is asking people with the disease to share their everyday, so they can better direct their funding by having a true understanding of how the disease affects those who live with it. Read some of the submissions and add your own here.

Also, rather excitingly, MPs are going to debate National Arthritis Week (starts today!) and the findings of the above campaign next week, on 20th October. ARUK has set up this handy page so you can email your MP to ask them to attend the debate – and yay, because you don’t need to have arthritis to do this one! It’s been five years since MPs last debated arthritis, so I think it’s important as many MPs as possible go, and represent the interests of a fair chunk of their constituents.

As I’m technically off sick, that’s all from me for now, as I’m off for a nap, which will inevitably be followed by painting my nails, reading a trashy magazine and an old episode of Made in Chelsea. Every day is a struggle.

If you want to read more about the different kinds of arthritis or some of the facts I’ve mentioned, you may enjoy these links:
What is JIA?
Arthritis Research UK: Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
The British Rheumatology Society: Did You Know? 

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