Rheumatoid Arthritis Patient Advocate.
I am a 34 year old single mother to a 7 year old boy named Jacob. We live in Vancouver British Columbia with two cats named Logan and Abigail.
Before rheumatoid arthritis my passion was in heavy metal music and tattoos nor without much thought of the future, how a life altering diagnosis changes you and what you are able to do. Self care wasn't my first priority.
Now chronic pain makes concerts difficult to attend and my life has become complicated because of the impact chronic illness has made on my life my focus changed to how to move forward through all of this.
My passions now 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 with The Arthritis Society, Arthritis Research Canada, Pain BC, Creaky Joints, and many other organizations as long as it helps the future of those living with chronic illness, from a patient perspective.
My diagnosis taught me the importance of regular exercise, eating a healthy vibrant diet best suited for you and to really listen to your body. Sticking to my medications, my numerous doctors advice, educating myself through research and workshops is how I got here today - sick but healthier at the same time. Self-care has become my full time job but it is what I do to have quality of life with rheumatoid arthritis.
While there may be no cure for my disease there have been advances in treatments and research which leads a lot of hope for patients living like me. Much of what I do is in memory of my aunt who unfortunately was diagnosed before these advances and suffered serious effects from the disease. She passed away the same week I was diagnosed.
While I can not let my diagnosis completely define me, even though what I do takes a significant portion of my time and energy, I am still me. I still enjoy concerts, painting, exploring nature, travel, getting tattooed, being a mom to my son and spending time with my friends. It is important to make adaptions in life and be yourself.
I hope that my blog inspires someone to take the appropriate steps forward for a healthier tomorrow with chronic illness, for themselves and others.