Kevin Hewitt

Kevin Hewitt

Real Profiles of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Photos © Kevin Hewitt

Name?

Kevin Hewitt

Age?

31

Location?

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?

No.

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.

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SuperBetter

“SuperBetter is a game that helps you recover from any illness or injury — or achieve any health goal — by increasing your personal resilience. Resilience means staying curious, optimistic and motivated even in the face of the toughest challenges.

SuperBetter creates a private, online space where your closest friends and family become allies in your adventure toward health and wellness. The game is played in two parts: First, a set of 7 guided missions that create the foundation for your journey. Then, an open-ended, self-guided adventure that you play with your family and friends in the real world—not a virtual environment—in an effort to achieve your health goals.

We believe that instead of being diminished by obstacles in our way, we can grow stronger—much stronger. In fact, science tells us that dramatic, positive changes can occur in our lives as a direct result of facing an extreme challenge—whether it be coping with a serious illness, daring to quit smoking, or dealing with depression. We call this getting SuperBetter!”

Read More: https://www.superbetter.us/

This past weekend, I was quite excited to learn about SuperBetter while listening to one of my regular podcasts. Secret identities, missions, secret headquarters, and epic wins–all in the name of a game that creates point systems and incentives for reaching health goals? This sounds like just the thing that Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy would be interested in!

SuperBetter is currently in preview mode, but I would recommend that you request an invite today via this link: https://www.superbetter.us/users/register_beta. Once a few of us are granted access, we can take it for a test drive and see how it works.

Read more about the original concept of SuperBetter – or how to turn recovery into a multi-player experience.

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Frida Writes: Invisible People. Or, Compare and Contrast: WiMPS And GIMPS

“When people fail to notice accessibility issues, when they fail to notice that their actions in a particular moment create an accessibility issue, when they fail to make accommodations because they have no proof that something’s wrong with you, when they say nothing looks wrong with you, when they make fun of you because they see lazy instead of disabled, when they mock you because they see you as quirky or clumsy or stiff, when they conflate physical and learning and mental disability, when they think learning or mental disability is a failing or a choice, when they privilege one disability over another, when they enthuse about euthanasia for people on ventilators, when they believe reasonable accommodation is an unfair advantage, they make you and your disability invisible, they render you an invisible person. They deny needs that can be met, they deny your humanity, they resist understanding. They in fact don’t want to understand.”

Read More: http://fridawrites.blogspot.com/2008/04/invisible-people-or-compare-and.html

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High Score

A few days ago, I found myself standing directly in front of another major flare. I knew exactly what was in store for me; there was no way to avoid what was going to happen during the next hour or so.

A funny thing happened though. Instead of getting panicked, I decided to get prepared.

I told myself to latch onto something that would help pull me through the extreme pain that I was soon going to experience; something that I could focus on in order stay oriented while being thrust into the confusion that often accompanies major flares. On this particular morning, that something happened to be the thought of my afternoon tutoring sessions with my students.

And right at that moment, I laughed to myself. You see, my mental thoughts had transformed into visual images of alligators, trap doors, scorpions, and ladders. I could get through this, as long as I concentrated. Grabbing onto that rope that was now hanging in front of me, and swinging across some of the upcoming rough patches, would no doubt make things just a little bit easier.

I was actually living inside a game of ‘Pitfall’, one of my absolutely most favorite video games from the early ’80s. (Let’s hear is for pixelated graphics!) And in a weird sort of way, it was actually sort of fun.

Most importantly, it worked. I got through my flare, more easily that I ever had before.

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!

You might also enjoy Flare! www.rheumatoidarthritisguy.com/2009/06/b-i-n-g-o/

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More resources and blogs: www.rheumatoidarthritisguy.com/links/

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