A.S. Face 0340: Adam

Hi, my name is Adam and I’m from Vancouver Washington.

I have been dealing with AS since I was about 12 years old. In the beginning it was not that bad and I was still able to live a normal life. Throughout my teens and early 20’s my symptoms were pretty mild compared to what was to come. When I was 23 I stupidly crashed my car into a telephone pole out in the country while drunk. I deservedly lost my license for a year and 90 days. I’m not sure how, but this incident seemed to trigger the rapid worsening of my AS, although there were no signs of injury from the crash. It started with not being able to fully straighten up after standing from a sitting position. At the worst I could literally not even walk or move my leg because of the pain in my hip. I could barely turn my head side to side and I had to learn how to suppress a sneeze because if I didn’t the pain was just too much. This became my daily life. To top this all off I had to get to work each day by foot. My job required me to stand all day so my life was pretty much pure pain. Did I mention I had opted out of my health insurance plan back when I needed to take was Naproxen (ibuprofen) to get by? The only thing that kept me going was getting back on that health plan so I could see a doctor and get some real help. At this point I was taking 16 250mg Ibuprofen every day. As I am writing this the memories are coming back of all the simple things that brought so much pain. Just putting on my socks was almost impossible to do. Finally I got back on the health insurance, and after jumping through way too many hoops the insurance company approved the Enbrel. I can not give enough thanks to my Rhumetologist for what she did. Things changed from the first day I stuck that Enbrel clicker into my leg. It still amazes me how fast it worked. Eventually I had to switch to remicade because of some iritis I was having on the Enbrel, and for me it works just as good if not better. Now I feel like I have my life back. Since I’ve been on the Remicade, I am able to do the things I said I would do if it wasn’t for the AS. I am proud of how far I’ve come, from having no car and a crappy job with no health insurance, to having 3 cars (I know I have a problem), and a job that I love with great insurance. I still have some iritis on occasion, and it’s kind of hard to get down and tie my shoes, but other then that I can work hard and live a normal life. I have so much respect for anybody going through the pain of AS. I just want people, especially young people to know that there is hope and that you have to fight and do everything that you can to get yourself the proper treatment. I just hope somebody reads this and it helps in some way.

Thank you.  -Adam

Washington United States of America

13 Responses to “A.S. Face 0340: Adam”

  1. Thanks so much for sharing! I can totally relate. God bless, Bro!

  2. Thank you for sharing that very positive story Adam! 🙂

  3. Completely relate to the pain when trying to do small things. I’m so glad that you’re feeling better.

  4. Wow!! Somebody from my neck of the woods. Great Story! Thanks for sharing


  5. You are an inspiration to me. Thank you for telling us your A.S. story.

  6. Bravo ADam! I love how you took your photo in the mirror “cause you were so impressed with “Face’s” that you knew you just had to get a photo so you could post one on “Face’s” real quick”! It is YOU we are impressed with.

    I wonder Adam if you could answer a question-its cool if you don’t. Did you have to “start” taking NSAIDS or Sulfazine, or Methotrexate for a year or two BEFORE the Rhuemy put you on Enbrel-or did the doc try to get you on it right away (of course the insurance wanted you to try the rest first I’m sure). My point is, “It seems that rhuemy’s are jumping right to the TNF’s now a days-or at least jumping to them quicker than when I first got diagnosed.”

    • If I remember correctly, my Rhuemetologist wanted to put me on the Enbrel right away. She pretty much said that they don’t even bother with the Nsaids anymore. I do recall something about having to try the meds first though. I was on prednisone and flexeril for awhile. That was such a confusing time so it’s hard to recall the details.

      • YAHOO! . From reading all these “younger” FAce’s ,that appears to be THEE trend now. Let’s pile on the biologicals right away and keep them productive members of society. I wish I were a young AS’er. Then I could have a “cool” disease that the chicks could dig AND live a fairly normal life! I’m happy for you Adam.

  7. Dear Adam,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Thank you for having the courage to be so honest with us. I understand about the emotions coming back when writing it because I struggled with the same thing. I ended up being Face 62 because I struggled writing my story. I am too had a difficult time and remicade gave me back my life. We may never get a cure, and we may never change the world of Ankylosing Spondylitis, but we are changing the lives of the people who live with this disease. Stand Tall my friend you are a person to be amired, keep up the good work.
    Sincerely Cookie

    June 21, 2012 I am still trying to reach you to send you The Faces of AS Band

  8. Great story Adam… Wish you all the best !

  9. I can feel your pain Adam.. I was practically crippled. I could not walk or sleep flat. I would sleep practically sitting up. I would walk around people my age at the time 30ish and i was holding on to rails and way behind because i could not walk fast because i was in extreme pain. No Doctor could find what was wrong. FInally i found the right doc who helped. And yes 1st injection and immediate results .. no pain.. Keep your head up Adam. I now run and do 14 miles on the Octane machine at the gym.. I am beating my A.S and u can too


    • That’s awesome. I have been trying to get into running lately but usually stick to my bike. I’m just glad to be able to go to work and do my job. I work setting up heavy machinery in a factory, which I wouldn’t be able to do without the Remicade. Keep on moving dude.

  10. Thanks for sharing! So interesting to read these stories and know we are all walking such a similar path. I love my new friends who can relate!!
    Thanks again for sharing!
    Face 381

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