A.S. Face 0446: Scott Flinchbaugh

I was diagnosed with AS in 2010.

Who am I ?

My name is Scott Flinchbaugh and I am from South Central Pennsylvania.  I was bitten by a brown recluse spider in July 2009.  A few weeks after the wound on my foot got better, I started exhibiting the signs of arthritis.  The surgeon and infectious diseases doctors that were my caretakers during a surgery on my bite ankle almost 6 months after the bite is the one who figured out that I had developed AS as an autoimmune response to the infection and destruction of bone and tissue in my ankle.

Talk about a life changing disease.  I would estimate that I am 25% of the person that was prior to diagnosis.  The fatigue, the pain, and the not knowing what comes next is a way of life that takes some real adjustment.   In addition, the process of trial and failure of drugs to help a person each individual person with AS is not always cookie cutter medicine.  I have tried sulfasalazine, oral methotrexate, then switched to injectable methotrexate (MTX).  During the last 9 months in addition to the  MTX we have tried Enbrel with no impact, and Humira from which I developed the side effect of psoriasis of the scalp.  In addition I’ve run the gambit of pain medications.  I seem to develop a tolerance for them rather quickly or my disease is progressing so fast, that I am now on low dose morphine 24/7.

Working with AS is a struggle and everyone has to handle it as best they can.  So of course, that places the AS learning curve on your employer and co-workers.  You start to feel like a broken record.

It’s so important to raise the awareness of this disease, its symptoms, its challenges, and even the drugs that are used to treat it as well as their side effects.

The faces of Ankylosing Spondylitis is a great concept.  Let’s raise awareness.

Doing so will not only help us, but help those that are facing this disease in their differential diagnosis .


Pennsylvania United States of America

10 Responses to “A.S. Face 0446: Scott Flinchbaugh”

  1. Hi Scott and thank you for putting it so clear every word you say I could have said about myself keep fighting and best wishes

  2. Hi Scott and thanks for putting it so well every word you said is the way I feel thanks again and keep fighting.dermot

    • Hi! It is so amazing how how are stories have so many similarities, but each case is its own unique situations. Thanks for writing. Scott

  3. Dear Scott,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Thank you for the kind words.
    Sincerely Cookie

  4. Hi Scott. Thanks for sharing your story. I was wondering what your doctor is doing to treat your psoriasis. I am olso on Humira and have a bad case on my hand and wrist. Thanks!

    • Daryl Lee, I stopped the humira for just one injection, and the psoriasis is gone. Now it’s time for weekly meds, and do you think I can find out from the doctor what she wants me to take this weekend? It it’s not one thing, it’s another.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help other than to tell you that psoriasis is a side effect of Humira. It may not be of all Biologics. Perhaps Enbrel would work as well for you.

  5. thanks for posting your story scott, all the best to you and your family 🙂

    matt (0270)

  6. Dear Scott, hope you are well. I am on humira too, so far with positive effects. You say your AS developed after you were bit by a spider. Mine came after I was in a vehicle accident. I didnt know it was possible to develop AS from a trauma, like it triggered it somehow. Thanks for sharing your story, I think I may know a little more about mine now.

  7. thanks for sharing your story. Elizabeth face 40

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