Reader's Digest (Canada)



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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