A.S. Face 0235: Don Earls

“I had a part time job in about spring 1972 and always had to walk back and forth since my wife used the car to drive to her work. One fine day at work my back started hurting worse that ever. I got about half way home and all of a sudden I could go no further so I just fell over in the grass in front of a house. A man was walking by and helped me to get home. We had no money for a doctor so I just took a hot bath and then tried to get comfortable. I finally had to go to the Dr. and he, working with several other doctors correctly diagnosed me as having something called Marie Strumpell Syndrome.  As I had close to zero range of motion, it really sucked getting to my job and college. When I finally was able to walk with 2 canes, I applied for food stamps. I was denied because I was a college student even while others were accepted. I had been a corpsman in the Navy but I was not able to use the VA hospital or get any other veterans help. Remember this was the ‘70’s. It was not fun standing in all those lines.

The Doctors were so good to us and they barely charged anything for all my visits, meds, injections, x-rays and all they did for us. I couldn’t even dress myself.  I got injections in both hip sockets and down my sternum all the time. Woozer it smarted.  Still remember this is in the 1970’s.

Somewhere along the way the name was changed from Marie Strumpell to AS. The Doctors promised I would get better then get worse then stay the same. It continues to do that on a regular basis.

Jump ahead 40 years and it is better. I haven’t passed out from pain in a long time. I haven’t had to be carried and I haven’t had to crawl to the bathroom. I’ve had several good jobs and am now retired.

I always wondered why, on the Mayo Clinic list of symptoms for AS, I have all but weight loss.

Thank you so very much,

Don Earls,

Colorado United States of America

4 Responses to “A.S. Face 0235: Don Earls”

  1. Dear Don,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I agree about all the symptoms but weight loss. That is one symptom I could afford to have. I never realized that Ankylosing Spondylitis had been called Marie Strumpell Syndrome. Thank you again so much.
    Sincerely Cookie

  2. Don,
    Thanks for telling your history and how you are doing now. It is inspirational and gives me hope.

  3. Don,

    Our stories are so very similar, you were in the Navy and I was in the Air Force. Same time period, makes us better people to stick in there and stand tall. Really like your tie dyed t-shirt.

    Stan Willis

  4. Hey do you remember me? I worked for you at Anthony’s in Plainview, Texas a lonnng time ago. To this day, Anthony’s was one of my two favorite jobs and you one of my favorite bosses.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: