My name is Sam Dodd and I am 36 years old. I live just outside Bristol UK. My problems started not long after my daughter was born (she is now 14 years old). I started getting pains in my back, sciatica and ended up having to use a walking stick on many occasions. I mentioned to my Doctor that arthritis runs in the family and he looked at me and laughed and said I was to young.
A few years later I had a swollen toe (sausage digit) that just wouldn’t go down, I was also still having back problems as well. The doctors eventually sent me to a Rheumatolgist. This was the first time that I felt that someone was listening to me he said that I had a Spondyloarthritis . He started me on Sulfasalzine, which did not work at all, and then on Methotrexate, which had a small effect. I was then seen by a Locum who said there was no way that I had arthritis it was just fibro and nothing else and that I could also do with losing weight as this would help in the future. He took me off all medication that my last Rheumy put me on and gave me Bu Trans patches. I then felt like a complete waste of time maybe it was in my head. Over this time I was still having problems with my back and my doctor arranged for a MRI scan, when the result came back it was the Locum that gave me the results not my Doctor. He looked at them and said everything is fine there is nothing wrong at all with your back it must just be a problem with your disc. He will see me in a year.
Then two years ago I was then seen by yet a different Rheumy he was fantastic he ordered my MRI to be looked at again and asked for a report. This showed that my spine had the beginning of fusion. By this time I was having problems with my toes, fingers and neck also. He started me on Methotrexate and then Sulfasalazine three months later, I was still getting no let up at all. So he stopped the Sulfasalzine and gave me Depo medrone injections and a month course of steroid. This carried on for the first six months of this year. But still no let up, he said we will think about Anti-Tnf. Well forward on a few months and I am now waiting for my first lot of Humira tobe delivered next week. I am scared but also excited and also sad. Scared, because I don’t like injections! Excited that hopefully I might get a bit of my life back, and sad that my children are both teenagers now (17 and 14) and that I have missed out on being able to do so much with them over the years.
Currently I have vitiligo, costochondritis and now finally been diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis.
Oh and I have also lost two stone this year : )
Portishead near Brisol United Kingdom