“I refuse to smash my emotions down inside myself so I can put on a happy face and make other people feel better. I will not pretend like I have learned a fantastic lesson when my body and my life are falling apart in this moment — I need time to cry and scream into a damn pillow,” says patient advocate Jennifer Walker.
Patient advocate Eileen Davidson takes an honest look at her seven-year RA journey and shares the mistakes she made shortly after being diagnosed, along with tips on how to adapt and advocate early on.
Painsomnia. Medication hangovers. Out-of-nowhere symptoms. Eileen Davidson may not have the solutions for these RA frustrations and more — but she hopes sharing them validates what you’re feeling too.
Many people with chronic illness suck at asking others for help. Here’s what you can do to make it easier for them to cope with a disease flare.
Rheumatoid arthritis is serious. If you have it, you need to take it seriously. If you love someone who with RA, you need to understand what they’re living with every day.
Flare fear is a heightened state of anxiety that my disease symptoms will pop out of nowhere, says rheumatoid arthritis patient Eileen Davidson. Here’s how she handles the tricky balance of living her life and being imprisoned by flare fear.
“Having self-love gives me motivation for self-care. Practicing self-care reaffirms my self-love,” says advocate Eileen Davidson, who lives with rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic conditions.
After noticing a pattern of worse flares than usual, especially right before infusion time, RA patient Dibs Baer wonders whether the biologic medication is wearing off — and, if so, what to switch to next?
“I’ve made some steps to try and better my heath,” says Russ Miller, a 36-year-old rheumatoid arthritis patient. “I want a better quality of life and want to be happy again, because I haven’t been for many years.”
Having needle anxiety is tough when you take medication that requires monthly intravenous infusions. Here’s how rheumatoid arthritis patient Eileen Davidson learned to get through infusion day without as many jitters.
When she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) at 16, Guadalupe Torres faced linguistic and cultural barriers that impacted the way she viewed the health care system. Now, fueled by her past and the experiences of other Spanish-speaking patients, she is hoping to change the system.
Spanish-language resources from CreakyJoints Español helped Wigna become a more empowered rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patient and build out her support system.
These kinds of comparisons may be more harmful to people with arthritis — or any chronic illness — than you might realize.
“Hiking has become a victory — albeit, a small one — over rheumatoid arthritis. I am proving to myself and others that I will not let rheumatoid arthritis win; that with a few adaptations I can still live and enjoy life," says Eileen Davidson, who has rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
When rheumatoid arthritis patient and fashion designer Michael Kuluva approached Eileen Davidson to help design a T-shirt to promote arthritis awareness, she embraced her own ‘fierce fight’ to help inspire and support others.
“Before I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, I didn’t really think about the way heat could impact my body and mind,” says Eileen Davidson, a rheumatoid arthritis patient. “But RA changed all of that that.
When I was diagnosed with this chronic illness at age 29, I was expecting joint pain. I didn’t expect to feel like I was hit by an 18-wheeler.
Telling anyone they are too young to live with a condition is more inflammatory than it is reassuring or supportive.
First: Rheumatoid arthritis is not just ‘arthritis.’
RA took away Eileen Davidson’s career and made being a single mother even more challenging. Here’s what helped changed her perspective on a devastating diagnosis.