J.G. Chayko is a writer, actress and international arthritis advocate who’s been involved in theatre for more than 30 years and has published poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. She is the author of the blog “The Old Lady in My Bones”, based on her experience living with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Her story has been featured in Arthritis Digest UK, Health Central, and Pain Free Living Magazine. She is one of the writers in the book “Real Life Diaries: Living with Rheumatic Disease”, has been interviewed on local radio and has done talks on living with RA alongside other inspiring advocates.
She is also the author of a writing blog called Corkboards and Coffeehouses. “Writing is my passion, not just a job.”
In her thirties, she was diagnosed with early Rheumatoid Arthritis. She developed this blog to share her experience living with this disease. She also wants to create awareness that arthritis is not a disease just for the elderly. Young people are susceptible and can suffer just as much. It is a debilitating disease that destroys lives. Knowledge is power. The more you learn about your situation, you can live a fulfilling life despite your disease. Sometimes you must learn to let your old life die and create a new one, like a re-birth.
Please feel free to comment and share your experience.
The information on this site are stories based on my personal experiences and is not intended for medical advice. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. All content is original and owned by the author and shall not be used or duplicated without express and written permission.
Hi Julia, great writing. I was diagnosed with Polymyalgia R.A. My condition is the swelling, pain, redness appears one day on any given joint, lasts for 3-4days in one place, leaves just like it came. Then at any other times, will reappear somewhere else. Always a surprise. I take meds. everyday. There are days that I can cope with the pain, other days do a lot of crying. It has been about 5yrs. since this started.
Arlene, it is a very tough disease to keep stable; the flares are very unpredictable. With me, it’s usually hands, wrists, elbows, knees and ankles. My fingers swell and the pain in the joints is like a constant burning. Keep up the brave fight. Grab onto the positive things in life to pull you through those rough days. Thank you for the compliment on my writing. I am hoping to keep this a fun and positive blog.
Bravo on your inspirational blog! I, too, have had RA for many years. Yes, there are “bad” days where the pain and swelling are exhausting. You sound “brave.” When one lives with inflammatory arthritis, one must be brave and fight through the “fires” of flares. I refuse to “give in” to this disease and stay as active and healthy as I can. I smoulder on! Unless one lives with arthritis; one doesn’t really get it. Let’s hope for a “cure” and be grateful that today’s medications offer some relief. Keep blogging and enlightening others about this curious disease.
Thank you Lynne….yes, this disease requires us to be warriors. We must battle through the bad days and enjoy the good ones. There is much research being done and maybe one day, we will see an end to arthritis.
Hi Julia. I’m glad to have stumbled onto your blog : ) I was diagnosed with RA in October 2012. My symptoms are not well managed yet. A number of us are talking about starting a support group in the Vancouver area as there isn’t one currently. Please feel free to be in touch and I’ll keep reading your wonderful entries.
Hey. Always great to read different blogs about Arthritis. I was diagnosed in 2008 sero positive as well, and also have Fibromyalgia, so my rheummy consultant says. I have not come to terms with it as it just yet ended my engineer career and my golf. I still get frustrated and don’t like the drugs. ( humira ) I’ve been on quite a few.
Thanks for stopping by. Stay strong – it’s a difficult battle to live with this disease, and even harder when you are still trying to find the right treatment. Have faith – there are many medications that can help, but it takes some time to find the right combination for you.
Hi, my name is Gail & I have Arthritis too. Mine started at 44yrs old. I live in the UK. I love your blog.
Thank you Gail. I hope you have more good days than bad in your battle with arthritis. Stay strong and be well.
I misunderstood my diagnosis – I thought I had osteoarthritis and treated it as such for two years wasting valuable time. Now my doctor just told me I have Inflammatory Polyarthropathy or polyarthritis NEC and I am trying to figure out what this actually means. So far the only things he has told me to do is squeeze a sponge and take Celebrex. I think I need a new doctor.
I am sorry to hear you suffered with a misdiagnosis. Perhaps ask your doctor if he can refer you to a Rheumatologist to help manage your condition. It’s important to take control of your life if you feel you are not getting the treatment and information you need, it’s best to explore options. There might be some support groups or an arthritis center in your area that can help as well. Wishing you good health.
Great site, and sorry to hear you suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis, it is hard to deal with, especially in the winter months. I myself suffer from Arthritis and Osteoarthritis, and find the cold weather affects my knee joints and hip, but my greatest fear is of falling over and not being able to get up.
I cheat a bit, by taking a private medication for my Osteoarthritis, a tablet called Osteocare and it seems to help, makes life a bit easier, for the NHS medication gives me terrible stomach trouble. I do not know if this helps with Arthritis, but anything in my mind is worth a try.
You could check out and see if their are any herbal tablets which might ease your suffering.
Thanks for the suggestions, I may investigate. I am lucky to have a Rheumy who takes care of me very well. But of course, I’m always looking to empower my own health.
I hope your arthritis does not take you from the things you enjoy. Thanks for visiting.
Finding solutions I found your blog. Thanks for sharing. To get my mind off my disease, I started my own.
Keep up the good fight!
Thanks for stopping by for a visit. Writing really does help me cope with the disease, and even on my bad days I find a real joy in writing. Hope your good days outnumber the bad. Cheers.
Just been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my knees. I’m about to do the usual battle of proving its OA that caused the curves & degenerative discs in my spine, as well as prove OA is causing my ankle & elbow problems.
Here’s hoping you can find the right diagnosis and treatment to help with your OA. Thanks for stopping by. Stay well.
After breaking my ankle this year, my consultant told me I had the most advanced case of osteoporosis he’d ever seen. That was really reassuring in my early 50s. But apart from breaking an ankle, at least it’s not usually painful. My mother-in-law was diagnosed with early RA in early 30s. And, our neighbour here similarly. Don’t want to be gloomy, but…our neighbour (now 60) has recently been diagnosed with COPD and the hardening of her lung tissue was put down to anti-arthritis drugs, so please check possible side effects of your meds very carefully. I’ll probably write a brief blog post about it, maybe there are less damaging anti-arthritic drugs these days.
I am sorry to hear your mother-in-law has to deal with RA – and sorry to hear about your neighbour. All medication has side effects, so the best thing we can do is learn about our choices, talk to our specialists and choose the best treatment that works for us. The arthritis medications today have come a long way from the old days and help give people a better quality of life. Stay well.
The problem, though, re my neighbour, is that what happened back then has detrimental effects today. Sad 🙂
My name is Anuj Agarwal. I’m the founder of Feedspot.
I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog The Old Lady in my Bones has been selected by our panel as one of the Top 40 Arthritis Blogs on the web.
I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 40 Arthritis Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!
Also, you have the honor of displaying the badge on your blog.
Thank you Anuj. It’s such an honour to be recognized for the work I do. I really appreciate being included with such an impressive group of arthritis warriors. Stay well. J.G. Chayko
Hi, I never knew about this blog untill I rec’d the Capa newsletter. I think it’s amazing & much needed. I didn’t have much connection at all 8 years ago when I was hit hard with crippling inflammation that took years to lead to an AS & osteo diagnosis. It was the worst thing I had ever gone thru in my life at 53 years old. I went from being a runner to being stuck on my couch unable to weight bare for a few years & I really became isolated & dependent & it was my hell for sure. My low back, neck, knees. elbow & wrist were the worst so i really couldn’t get online much or do anything except train my new little dog, which was a such a positive gift. When I was able I joined some Facebook groups for arthritis & that was my lifeline. The good news is that I’m a success story, after 4 years of being unable to work or really walk much & after trying everything re naturals, diets & drugs I was ready to succumb to biologics & try and get the best quality out of life that I could possibly get. Anyhow, I found out about a few more alternative things & they worked really well for me. At 61, I can cycle, hike, without flares & have started playing pickle ball with a knee brace. I find if i do a lot of stretching & yoga I’m ok. Didn’t realize what role my very tight hip flexors, quads, glutes & hamstrings played. I also did a ton of water movement. When I finally got my inflammation under control 2.5 years ago I was able to start strengthening all that I had lost. I’m amazed & thankful as is everyone that knows me. After 7 years of rheumatology, I was actually discharged. I do have meniscus & hip labrum damage but seems nothing has progressed. So to all you warriors out there, I just say do whatever you can whenever you can & don’t give up hope. I think yoga & waterworks isn’t emphasized enough. I had started with a yoga for arthritis dvd. As long as I keep my inflammation low, i’m good. I never knew that we had genes that expressed inflammatory enzymes & that they can be influenced. Keep the search on for all therapies that can help you. The best thing we can all do is slow this disease process down & support one another because no one can truly understand this unless you’ve been through it. Keep on inspiring! Thank you.
Thank you for sharing your experience. Our individual stories and experience can be the most powerful tool for healing. Thank you for reaching out. It’s a pleasure to connect and hear you are doing so well. Best, J.G. Chayko