My name is Eileen Davidson, and I am 34 years old. I live in Vancouver, British Columbia, and I am a full-time single mom, freelance writer, and rheumatoid arthritis patient advocate.

Before I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), I was told my wrist and hand pain was due to carpal tunnel syndrome caused by my physical job as an esthetician. But when I went on maternity leave at age 26, my symptoms never got better. They only increased, and others manifested.

After the birth of my son, it got worse. I struggled to hold him without my joints feeling like they were on fire. And that feeling was no longer just in my hands and wrists, but also my knees, ankles, feet, neck, and back. I also had unrelenting fatigue that I couldn't shake, no matter how much rest I got or caffeine I drank.

My aunt had RA, so I was familiar with the signs. She was ultimately confined to a wheelchair, and she also struggled with diabetes. I was terrified this might be my fate, so at age 29, I requested an RA blood test from my family physician who referred me to a rheumatologist to go over the lab work and my diagnosis. Lo and behold, my blood work came back positive for seropositive rheumatoid arthritis. (Seropositive means there are antibodies in my blood to mark the disease.) Finally I had a definite answer and a diagnosis for my pain.

More in category

Trump creates election anxiety ahead of Supreme Court announcement
September 26, 2020MSN
Trump creates election anxiety ahead of Supreme Court announcement
North Carolina: An empty campus says a lot about the state of the race.
September 26, 2020The NY Times
North Carolina: An empty campus says a lot about the state of the race.
Experts are warning of a coming surge of virus cases in US
September 26, 2020MSN
Experts are warning of a coming surge of virus cases in US
Bolsonaro Discharged From Hospital After Stone Removal
September 26, 2020MSN
Bolsonaro Discharged From Hospital After Stone Removal
Fewer than 10% of Americans show signs of past coronavirus infection, study finds
September 26, 2020MSN
Fewer than 10% of Americans show signs of past coronavirus infection, study finds
China gives unproven Covid-19 vaccines to thousands
September 26, 2020MSN
China gives unproven Covid-19 vaccines to thousands
India’s Vaccine Industry Will ‘Help All Humanity,’ Modi Says
September 26, 2020The NY Times
India’s Vaccine Industry Will ‘Help All Humanity,’ Modi Says
Mom 'murdered disabled daughter by silencing medical device alarm'
September 26, 2020MSN
Mom 'murdered disabled daughter by silencing medical device alarm'
What Urologists Want You To Know About Having a Healthy Bladder in Your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and Beyond
September 26, 2020MSN
What Urologists Want You To Know About Having a Healthy Bladder in Your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and Beyond
Thousands Protest Lockdown Measures in London
September 26, 2020The NY Times
Thousands Protest Lockdown Measures in London
This Is the Worst Chain Restaurant Breakfast Ever
September 26, 2020MSN
This Is the Worst Chain Restaurant Breakfast Ever
Less than 10% of Americans had virus antibodies as of July, study finds
September 26, 2020MSN
Less than 10% of Americans had virus antibodies as of July, study finds
Skateboarder and entrepreneur Keith Hufnagel dies from brain cancer at 46
September 26, 2020MSN
Skateboarder and entrepreneur Keith Hufnagel dies from brain cancer at 46
Dax Shepard relapsed after being sober for 16 years and has since sought help, the actor said during his podcast
September 26, 2020MSN
Dax Shepard relapsed after being sober for 16 years and has since sought help, the actor said during his podcast
Fewer than 10% of US adults were found to have coronavirus antibodies, according to a new study
September 26, 2020MSN
Fewer than 10% of US adults were found to have coronavirus antibodies, according to a new study
The Virus Sent Droves to a Small Town. Suddenly, It’s Not So Small.
September 26, 2020The NY Times
The Virus Sent Droves to a Small Town. Suddenly, It’s Not So Small.
Fairy Knots Sound Cute, But They're Very Annoying To All Curly Girls
September 26, 2020mindbodygreen
Fairy Knots Sound Cute, But They're Very Annoying To All Curly Girls
An Everlast executive reveals how the 'sport fighting' company is reaching new audiences through buzzy fashion collaborations with brands like Saint Laurent and Urban Outfitters
September 26, 2020MSN
An Everlast executive reveals how the 'sport fighting' company is reaching new audiences through buzzy fashion collaborations with brands like Saint Laurent and Urban Outfitters
Over 1,500 Boxes of This Food Have Been Recalled at Trader Joe's
September 26, 2020MSN
Over 1,500 Boxes of This Food Have Been Recalled at Trader Joe's
This CrossFit Games Athlete Tried Out a Pro Bodybuilder's Leg Workout
September 26, 2020MSN
This CrossFit Games Athlete Tried Out a Pro Bodybuilder's Leg Workout
Get fit in 60 seconds with these quick tips from a personal trainer
September 26, 2020MSN
Get fit in 60 seconds with these quick tips from a personal trainer