OTHERS

Advocating For The #1 Cause of Disability in North America

Chronic Eileen

Introduction To Chronic Eileen: Learning About Rheumatoid Arthritis

My name is Eileen Davidson, I am a 31 year old mother from Vancouver BC Canada. April 8th 2015 will forever be etched in my memory. I walked out of my Rheumatologist's office, a stranger I just met that bared the difficult task of informing me of my life altering diagnosis of Autoimmune Disease Seropositive Rheumatoid Arthritis. From that moment forward my life would never be the same again as I was promised a lifetime of chronic pain and fatigue while being a single mother to a toddler son. I had to say goodbye to my beloved career as an esthetician and learn the difficult task of what chronic illness was like. A bit over a year after my first Arthritis diagnosis, I was hit with a degenerative Osteoarthritis diagnosis, mostly in my spine.

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66% of patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis suffer from depression

My double hit of Arthritis diagnosis broke me down and sent me into a massive pit of depression where my emotions spiraled out of control, anxiety plagued and tormented my mental health. I found it near impossible to believe in myself and move forward or do much of anything. I stopped treatment for my illness but as my disease progressed I could see what was happening to myself and my mothering. I pulled myself back together and stepped back into my Rheumatologist office ready to fight. I may be on the 14th drug and not found the right one, but I am in a far better place knowing that I am fighting the best I can. I lost 40 lbs with in mind that 1 lb is 4 lbs off my joints. That was only step one.

How I fight back with Rheumatoid Arthritis

I found my calling in my advocacy and motherhood, which helped put some solitude to my suffering. I became a Patient Leader, Invisible Illness Advocate, Blogger and Ambassador for the Arthritis Society. If I am going to be the sick girl, I might as well kick ass at it. I try to encourage and empower others with Arthritis to take the best care of themselves and to not give up. As an Ambassador for The Arthritis Society I strive to bring awareness for the over 100 types of Arthritis that plague any sex, age or race and are responsible for the number one cause of disability in North America. An alarming 4.6 million Canadians, 54.4 Americans and approxiamtely 350 million world wide are affected by Arthritis. I also hope to bring awareness to those who are suffering from an invisible disability, for others to be mindful of those that may not show the physical signs of disability but are suffering inside.

My blog can be found at www.chroniceileen.com

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