Eileen vs Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis Advocate
For a number of years I experienced unexplained or misdiagnosed chronic pain in multiple areas of my body while complaining of constant infections, fatigue and emotional disturbances. At first I was told it was probably carpal tunnel because of my physical career as an esthetician, I needed to exercise, could be hormones, if I rest or wear a wrist brace it will get better.
But it never did get better, in fact I only got worse with more intense symptoms. After the birth of my son in 2012 when I was a month shy of my 27th birthday, the pain I had been experience intensified and never went away with rest during my maternity leave. When I returned to work it wasn’t long until those mysterious symptoms made it nearly impossible for me to do my job I once excelled at.
Given my family history with arthritis I decided to ask my family doctor to investigate my chronic pain and other bizarre symptoms further. I requested a rheumatoid arthritis blood test.
My family physician at the time made remarks that I was probably too young for rheumatoid arthritis, I did not have enough visible swelling.
It was only a few weeks later, April 8th 2015 I met my Rheumatologist, a stranger that bared the difficult task of informing me of my life altering diagnosis of incurable and debilitating autoimmune disease seropositive Rheumatoid Arthritis. The same week of my diagnosis my aunt passed away, before I could ask her what I was in for. I was terrified, lost and alone. I saw what this disease did to her. What was it going to do to me now? I wasn’t even 30 yet.
I never expected arthritis before grey hair or wrinkles. I never expected arthritis to be such a serious illness either.
I created this blog in 2017 to write about my journey with arthritis as an advocate to educate and inspire others living with or without the disease.
My passions lie in raising awareness for arthritis, whether it be through fundraising, awareness campaigns, writing, public speaking, participating in patient centered research or volunteer committee work.
I proudly volunteer or partner with:
- Creaky Joints and Creaky Joints Canada – Writer
- The Arthritis Society – Ambassador and Western Council Member
- Arthritis Research Canada – Arthritis Research Canada Patient Advisory Board Member
- Pain BC – Patient Advocate
- Canadian Institute of Health Research – Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis – Patient Engagement Research Ambassador
- Doctors of BC Shared Care Chronic Pain Advisory Committee – Patient Partner
The International Foundation for Autoimmune & Autoinflammatory Arthritis (AiArthritis) – Patient Partner
If I am going to be the sick girl, I might as well kick ass at it.
This site does not provide medical advice It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Remember, what works for one may not work for another.