Reader's Digest (Canada) - - Health -

Eileen Davidson, am­bas­sador for the Arthri­tis So­ci­ety and Pa­tient Ad­vi­sory Board Mem­ber of Arthri­tis Re­search Canada, shares her jour­ney as a sin­gle mother

liv­ing with sev­eral mus­cu­loskele­tal con­di­tions

Me­di­a­planet What symp­toms led to your ini­tial di­ag­noses of rheuma­toid arthri­tis (RA), os­teoarthri­tis, and fi­bromyal­gia?

Eileen Davidson I was orig­i­nally mis­di­ag­nosed with carpal tun­nel syn­drome and a sore back be­cause of my young age, weight, and pro­fes­sion as an es­theti­cian. But un­re­lent­ing chronic pain, fa­tigue, and emo­tional dis­tur­bances de­bil­i­tated me. I felt some­thing else was wrong so I re­quested an RA blood test, and that was the start of my self-ad­vo­cacy.

MP How do you cope with your symp­toms?

ED Find­ing sup­port is cru­cial. Seek­ing help isn’t shame­ful, whether it be for phys­i­cal or men­tal health. I force my­self to rest even when my mind says to keep go­ing. Self-care and pain man­age­ment are the keys to deal­ing with arthri­tis.

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