A.S. Face 0457: Richard Guccione
I live in Dunedin,FL.
I was diagnosed with A.S. at the age of 11, I’m 34 now, but had symptoms since I was 8 years old. It started with hip and knee pain and that was about it. I never had a problem with it excepted a little flare here and there. It limited me playing any sports growing up because of the pain and limited range of motion in my leg. I was picked on a lot in high school because of the way I walked. My wife has been a true blessing to me. She knew about the A.S. before we got married and started doing research on it in order to be ready and what to watch for. About a year ago, I had surgery which started a flare. This flare was the worse I ever had. My ribs have fused along with my spine, the middle part to the lumbar area of my spine. My hip and knee has gotten worse to the point of using a cane for walking. My shoulders have started giving me problems too. When this all started, my wife had to go back to work because I was no longer able to work. This was the hardest part for me because I was the one always working to provide for the family. Through all this I have learned who my friends really are and that I can always rely on my family for support which takes helps my wife relax a little bit knowing she has help when needed. I have 4 kids and they understand what is happening. My wife and I try to keep them informed so they aren’t afraid or confused about what is happening to me. I am truly blessed to have such a great family.
Florida United States of America