A.S. Face 0608: John
Hi.My name is John.I am 53, and i am from Ontario,Canada.
My first symptoms of AS started about 25 yrs ago.I had a little pain in my right butt cheek that would come and go,or alternate to the other butt cheek.I could usually walk off the pain,but a few days later it would return.I tried shoe inserts,different shoes but it didn”t help the pain.Not long after, my lower back started to really bother me.The pain started out gradually and got worse,and worse as time went on.I just shrugged it off to getting older, or cement floors from my workplace.
It wasen”t until i woke up one morning that i had a sore stiff neck on my right side did i really start to wonder what might be wrong.I tried different mattress,pillows,heating pads,ointments,back brace, NSAIDS, exercises…but nothing seemed to take away the pain or stiffness.
Being one to not go to doctors often (typical guy)i just kept going and dealt with my neck and lower back pain the best i could.
Everyone at work started asking me what was wrong with my neck,whats wrong with your back,why do you walk like a penguin?
Finally i started losing weight pretty bad.I was losing almost 5 pounds a week.This scared me and i went to see the doctor.My GP didn’t really know what was wrong with me, and sent me to a Internist.The internist evaluated me and said she thought it was probably AS,and made an appointment for me to see a Rheumatologist.My rheumatologist,did some blood test and some xrays,and seen lower back and neck fusion on the xrays and told me i had Ankylosing Spondylitis.I had never heard of this disease,and wondered what it was.She explained it all to me and said she would work with me ,and she could help ease my pain.,
First i tried NSAIDS then Sullfazaline,then Enbrel,then Humira,and now i am on Simponi which is really helping a lot.
I couldn”t work anymore because of the pain,fatigue and stiffness.I went on disability in 2008, after 32 yrs as a Lead Printing Press operator.
I am now totally fused in the neck.I can only turn my head left or right about a centimeter each way.My lower back is also fused and i can only walk about a kilometer before excruciating pain starts.I dont sleep well either.I had some great plans for my retirement,but now it seems to be lost.My worst fear is to become confined to a wheel chair.
I belong to a GREAT Ankylosing Spondylits & Rheumatoid Arthrits web site at http://www.asraunited.proboards.com/
I invite you all to drop by and join us so we can learn from each other,and make new friends too.I am sure you will enjoy the site.