“I’ve heard friends say passing off a hangover gets harder the older they get, but they haven’t had to pass off a hangover while living with a chronic illness,” says Eileen Davidson, who has rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
In our Arthritis Awareness Month campaign that sought to raise awareness of the challenges of living with invisible illnesses, community members shared what others do to make them — and their illness — more visible. Many said they feel less invisible when they are listened to and included.
“While my rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was responsible for a lot of my sleep problems, at the same time, getting poor sleep was also making my arthritis worse,” says Eileen Davidson, who has RA and osteoarthritis.
In a recent episode of the podcast ‘Talking Head Pain,’ Global Healthy Living Foundation Co-founder Seth Ginsberg and his wife Cara Zelas discussed the impact migraine has had on their marriage. Here, Seth continues the conversation and shares what he’s learned about being a caregiver to someone with a chronic illness.
“Being this in tune with my body has actually made sex more comfortable and enjoyable for me compared to when I had no clue what was actually going on with my body,” says Eileen Davidson, a woman living with rheumatoid arthritis.
In our Arthritis Awareness Month campaign that sought to raise awareness of the challenges of living with invisible illnesses, community members shared how they get others to understand a condition that can’t always be seen. Many said that they have given up on trying to explain their invisible illness to people who don’t want to understand.
“It's not a compliment,” CreakyJoints user Rachel M. said of being told she doesn’t look sick. “It's heard as an undermining of the fact that I feel like poop. The reality is that I'm in pain and exhausted every single day.” In our Arthritis Awareness Month campaign that sought to raise awareness of the challenges of living with invisible illnesses, one theme emerged over and over. Telling people with arthritis and other chronic illness that they don’t look sick invalidates and undermines how they feel.
“Moving with rheumatoid arthritis was as challenging as I expected it to be, but it was also rewarding in ways I didn’t expect,” says rheumatoid arthritis patient Eileen Davidson.
Eileen Davidson used to have a flair for the dramatic when it came to hair, clothes, makeup, and clubbing. Now her definition of flair — or rather, flare — is much different.