A.S. Face 0252: Nikki Gonzalez

Hello my name is Nikki Gonzalez, I’m 25 and I was diagnosed with AS in June of 2010. Nine months before that I had got some kitchen cleaner in one of my eyes and could not figure out why the redness had not gone away for weeks. Then suddenly I would wake up with red eyes that were so painful and sensitive to the light that all I could do was stay under a heavy blanket all day. Uninsured I was paying hundreds of dollars monthly to see an ophthalmologist to treat iritis. I couldn’t afford lab work so this continued for months until I was finally able to obtain insurance through my job. After numerous blood draws and x-rays my Rheumatologist diagnosed me with AS. I had stiffness and pain in my lower back but always thought it was due to my weight and my job of standing all day. Methotrexate got rid of the iritis but affected my liver too much so I’m off it now and praying it does not come back. I don’t have horrible pain it’s very minimal and I am so thankful for that. I take Humira which is like injecting acid I swear! I hate it but I am so happy that financial assistance out there is helping me with my $400 monthly co-pay. I have been in contact with some amazing people who helped me with financial assistance and it’s just so awesome. I know there are a lot of people out there who do not have the help that they need. I am mostly scared of what the future holds. I’m afraid of my spine fusing, I’m afraid of being in pain, and I’m afraid of being disabled. I know it wouldn’t be the end but it terrifies me. I am praying for a cure. And I’m praying for all AS sufferers out there!


Nikki Gonzalez

Colorado Springs, Colorado United States of America

3 Responses to “A.S. Face 0252: Nikki Gonzalez”

  1. Nikki, I am 51 and was diagnosed about eleven years ago. I am currently in a big flare up of iritis in my right eye. (had to have the prednisone shot in my eye…again. I have had that numerous times) I don’t take Humira, I inject Enbrel which has helped immensly with the pain.

    I too get worried about the future and then I try and get myself in check and remind myself to take one day at a time…enjoy every good day you have…there is a reason today is called the present.

    I hope you stay well and don’t ever give up on yourself. It is amazing where we can find strength from when we must.

    Joanne Mac Neal

  2. Dear Nikki,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I am praying for a cure also and working very hard to bring the real truth of this disease out in the open. I would love the information about the places that offered you help so that I can post it and help others out. I am also fused solid, although it is a difficult life, it is not the end of the world. One blessing of this disease it happens slowly and you adjust allong the way. Praying right along beside you!
    Sincerely Cookie

  3. Hey Nikki,
    Thanks for sharing your story. I’m 50 now, diagnosed at 22 (symtoms b/4 that)and also have RA and a crooked back. My back is fuse about 2 inches and has been that way for many, many years. I’ve discovered that exercise (even just walking a little each day) and stretching keeps the fusing at bay for me. I’m one of those unfortunate ones that doesn’t have financial help so I deal with the pain the best I can. My faith and family keep me going. Hope things get better with you. Hang in there. hugs.

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: