Real Profiles of Rheumatoid ArthritisPhotos © Kevin Hewitt
Clifton Park, New York, United States.
How long have you lived with RA?
Officially diagnosed in 2008.
What advice would you give to someone who has just been diagnosed with RA?
Stay positive. It’s a lot to take in at the beginning. Arm yourself with information, not doubt. Find a good support system, believe me, it helps!
Do you use any mobility aids?
How has living with RA helped to improve your life?
It has made me appreciate more of the little things in life. It may sound a little ironic, but it taught me to slow down and enjoy everything.
Do you have any visible signs of RA?
Just swelling at the moment.
Can you please describe some of your favorite coping strategies for living with RA?
The best thing for me is to laugh. My kids always put a smile on my face and make me laugh when I need it the most.
Can you please describe your current medical (traditional and alternative) treatments?
400mg Plaqunil daily, 200mg Celebrex daily, Rituxan infusions every 6 months, vitamin d 3000 I.U. daily.
Is there anything else about yourself that you would like to share?
I still work a full time job. It’s definitely a challenge, but with today’s economy and the bills relating to my RA, I have no choice to push myself until my Rheumy says I can’t do it anymore. My only advice I can give is to stay positive. Learn what you can and can’t do. Somedays you feel you can do everything, so do some. Some days you feel like you can’t do anything, so don’t. Listen to your body most of all.