A.S. Face 0321: Brittany Ladnier

Hello everyone! I’m so glad I found a page that connects me to all of you that are going through what I am! I’m 22, a nursing student, and a single mom of 2. I never thought in a billion years that I would have a disease such as this one. My symptoms started about 2 years ago and I never really thought much of them, that is until my leg had completely given out on me while walking a few steps from my house to my shed. It took months for doctors to finally figure out what it was. I went from one doctor saying that it was normal and I should try not to as much weight on one leg?! The orthopedic thinking it was a herniated disc. Another orthopedic telling me that my spine looked like it had a defect in it. And finally my rheumatologist who first thought it was rheumatoid, but then my rheumatoid factor was negative and I had the HLA-B27 , so the final verdict…. seronegative spondyloarthropathy, which is a broad term for AS. My treatment plan is plaquenil and naproxen twice a day and lortab as needed. I am always in constant pain, my feet and legs swell while I’m at work or in class. I work for the bank as a proof operator, and that means I type for my money, so that is making my fingers worse. I can’t sit for long periods of time because it hurts so bad. I can’t wear pretty high heels, can’t go out dancing, can’t have a drink or two because it makes me sick. I’m almost always late to anywhere that I go. I can’t focus on things, I’m always tired and groggy. Its so tough on my children who are 2 & 4, and they want me to hold them, or jump on the trampoline with them and I just can’t. I hate feeling this way at my age and sometimes I wish it would just all disappear, but I know that will never happen bc what the arthritis has already ate away is gone for good and the damage is done. But all we can do is stay strong right? Just thought I would share my story with you all, and if anyone is on the same meds as I, I would like to know how they are working for you. Best wishes to you all, enjoy your good days and have strength on the bad ones.

God Bless —-Brittany Ladnier

Mobile Alabama United States of America


13 Responses to “A.S. Face 0321: Brittany Ladnier”

  1. You’re an inspiration, Brittany!! Keep fighting!

  2. Brittany, I was diagnosed with AS in 1994, but have had symptoms since about 1982. I’ve been on a Indomethacin and Azulphidine. The AS has fused my lower back, and I have some pain daily, but nothing like it was before starting treatment. I have had doctors recommend changing the Indomethacin since many have bad intestinal side affects, but I have not had any, and it seems to work for me. I have recently lost about 65 lbs, and have not felt this this good in a long long time. I stay as active as possible, and hike as often as possible in the mountains around East Tennessee. Good Luck, stay strong, stay active and be positive.

  3. hi brittany, i can’t focus on anything either and always feel so tired 😦

    i have iritis (again) at the moment, third time sice last august. felt a bit depressed and detached yesterday, coming round a bit today. don’t have to work for a while which s good, i could do with a break!

    thanks for sharing your story,

    all the best,

    matt (face 270)

  4. I am on a TNF blocker (remicade) and it has helped me anormously. Would something like this be an option for you?

  5. Hi- I’m 27 with AS. (face 146). Interesting you’re on plaquenil… one rheum I visited wanted me on that followed by some other random things like Imuran. I told him no. It felt like too much. Most ppl are on Humira and others like it. He’s the only one suggesting plaquenil. Can you let me know the reason for the Plaqueniil and also how you are doing on it? Does it help? Right now I’m not on anything. Used to take celebrex but now if I have a flare I take prednisone for a short period and pain meds. I’m on FB if you want to chat- Kristin Anderson

  6. Thanks you guys! I’m having a flare up today :/ my face is swollen, do you guys ever experience that problem?….. and my rhuematologist acts as if he doesn’t want to put me on anything stronger than plaquenil because I am so young and he makes it out like everything else has horrible side effects. Also i have to add that I am not 22 i’m 23 lol… idk y in the world i was thinking i’m 22! my brain does that a lot! haha. And Kristin… I love your story! , trying to find you on fb but i can’t… heres a link to me http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=697262523 …. And i don’t wanna sound like a pill popper but i am seriously dependent on lortab…. i’m prescribed 3 a day and feel like i can’t work or get things done without them, anyone else do that? Is that bad?

  7. You’re a good soldier Brittany! I so admire you going to school while raising two kids. Bravo! Keep listening to your body-and tell your Rhuemy about what you hear. If you keep hurting-tell him(or her). If you have strange “digestive” problems or nausea-tell them (side effects). I had a sore throat for six months before finding out the pills I were taking was causing severe esophagus erosion from acid reflux. First timers never think the pills are going to hurt them.

    The meds you are taking are “the first line of defense”. It was my experience that the Rhuemy started me out on the same things, (and indomethicin made me throw up on day two-I hate my stomach). Feel better knowing theres a LOT of tools left in the toolbox if these don’t work. Doctors have a “protocol” to follow when treating AS, and the insurance companies REALLY have a protocol to follow before you’re going to be moved up to the expensive “biologicals” like remicaid or Enbrel. So be patient, and none of this “sunny disposition I can take it doc” attitude when you visit the Rhuemy.

    I don’t like saying this, but you might toss around the idea of changing careers. Nursing sounds like “on your feet all day”. I’ve been on my feet with AS for many years-and it sucks. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to get a desk career (and also give myself the sports almanac with every world series winner for the next 20 years). Just consider it, monitor how your treatment goes, I’m sure your credits can transfer. I wonder what kind of medical field you could go into that wouldn’t be constantly on your feet-hmmm-how about Rhuematologist!

  8. Thank you very much derek!

    I have a desk job now, and it kills me!!! My feet and legs swell and having to sit there for hours and hours hurts my back so bad. So I think nursing will be a good thing, It’s good to stay active, plus its way worth the money! lol.

    I have actually thought about being a rheumy nurse here lately 🙂 i think thats a great idea!

    Thank you for your kind words Derek!

    Best wishes
    -Brittany

  9. You go Brittany!! I agree some mobilization is good. Please don’t be pounding a hospital floor and turning patients when you’re 50 . A friend of mine who has Osteoarthritis and a new knee did that for 30 years and it was killing her, the hospital finally gave her a desk job. Now,that said, I don’t want to spoil your dreams-so how about becoming a CNP or PA. Then you’re working in a clinic setting and not walking for miles on tiled hallways.

    From the character you have shown here, and I fancy myself a good judge of character, I think you would have no trouble taking on the extra couple years to acheive this. I know it. Turn the negative of this AS into a positive. Get revenge on it by USING it to do better things.

    PS-I think once you get a regular regime of AS treatment-you’ll be feeling better too.

  10. Hi Brittany. I too was going to school for nursing when alot of this came about with me. I’m 30 yrs-old now and switched majors three times and now just trying to stay working. Things have changed for me, but with hope I am hoping my new Rheumatologist can treat me better than the last one. I think the thing for me noticing some of the things I can’t do anymore because of our disease, I really appreciate the things I still can. I was so busy trying to get somewhere in life that I really didn’t take the time to really enjoy it. Going through the meds are rough on you and I’m sorry you have to go through that. I fully agree with what Derek said all the way! Nursing will be very rough for you to do as time goes on. Just a thought! Hang in there!! Thank you soooo much for sharing your story!

  11. How can I get one of the A.S braclets

  12. Dear Brittany,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.
    Sincerely Cookie

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