A.S. Face 0523: Joshua Sisco
My name is Joshua Sisco and I was born and raised in the US, but moved abroad for years, traveling, learning, and experiencing our beautiful planet and its wonderful people. It was difficult, but by a combination of medicines and willpower, I did it, and it was beyond rewarding for the simple fact that for a long time I didn’t know if I would ever even be able to get out of bed again.
Starting around nine years old I started having pain in my heels and achilles & post-tibial tendons – so much that I was eventually sent to a Podiatrist who put me through countless sessions of physical therapy. I tried my best to play as a normal child, but with every step leaving me increasingly pained, I couldn’t. The result was an overweight child who was mercilessly bullied for having (really not *that* much extra weight) a couple extra pounds. That, compounded with the issues that growing up gay in a small town produces, made me feel inferior, worthless, and ultimately, sad.
The next 8 or so years were spent keeping my mouth shut about any problems that I encountered because complaining led me to be called a faker and a hypochondriac. The episodic lower back pain and feeling ‘locked’ were simply discounted as growing pains and working too hard. It wasn’t until I got so ill that I needed to be hospitalized that my family really took notice that maybe this wasn’t just all in my head. The autumn of my junior year of high school I one day woke up feeling so tired that the thought of moving was nearly impossible. I got into my doctor’s office (a paediatrician – the single best doctor on the planet) who did a work up and saw nothing unusual, although fully believing that what I was experiencing was legitimate. After so much time and a literal 14 doctors, I was diagnosed with depression and sent home. Sure, I was depressed – but because I was ill.
The ensuing years saw me go to college and truly struggle to make it. In my second year I was eventually sent to a Rheumatologist who, based on the symptoms at the time, diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia. To be fair, my family history with regard to the HLA-B27 gene hadn’t fully reared its ugly head, and one spine x-ray showed only minimal ‘bambooing’ (I’m coining a new word!). I was beyond relieved that it wasn’t ‘functional’, yet still looking for answers because some things still didn’t make sense.
After being told countless times that I was depressed, I look at my life and decided that if I was as depressed as they say, then I should do what makes me happy to truly see if that was the case. So – I moved to the Middle East and figured out what truly made me happy. And I did. I found the love of travel and exploration – exploring corners of the world that most only dream about. It was an important realization because I realized that I wasn’t depressed – just pissed off at how the medical community treated me.
After years of traveling and getting superior medical treatment in Germany, I still wasn’t convinced that it was Fibromyalgia. After an acute case of Cauda Equina Syndrome and emergency neurosurgery, the pieces *finally* fit. With my father’s then recent diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis and my brother’s later diagnosis of Psoriasis, I realized that I was the boy in the family to get the AS. Lucky me, right?!
After suing my insurance company for refusing to pay my medical bills, I found myself in worse shape than I had ever been. I was deemed disabled at 28 and THEN I was depressed. I struggled on, but refused to give up and now, today, as I write this, I am WORKING again and off Fentanyl & Dilaudid and the countless other medications I had been given to manage the symptoms.
I VERY much credit Herbalife and its products for my amazing reversal of symptoms. I’m sure many of us know, we’ve all been promised the next cure, miracle pill, and newest and best treatment, all to be let down. I was pushed and pushed to try it, and when I finally did, I was so ecstatic. We tend to be a sceptical bunch, but I’m living proof that things can get better.
I am ALL about sharing, so if anyone has any questions or comments, please email me. I love talking and understanding.
— Three passions have governed my life: The longings for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of humankind.
Love brings ecstasy and relieves loneliness. In the union of love I have seen In a mystic miniature the prefiguring vision of the heavens that saints and poets have imagined.
With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of people. I have wished to know why the stars shine.
Love and knowledge led upwards to the heavens, but always pity brought me back to earth; cries of pain reverberated in my heart of children in famine, of victims tortured and of old people left helpless. I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot, And I too suffer.
This has been my life; I found it worth living.” ~ Bertrand Russell
Michigan United States of America