A.S. Face 0594: Jessica Ruth Walle

My name is Jessica. I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis one month after my 30th birthday, four years ago. I awoke one morning with painfully swollen eyes, sensitive to light, that would seize up so tight, I couldn’t open them. I was diagnosed with pink eye and sent home with antibiotic drops. Days later, I was still in agony and went to see an eye dr. He told me that I ideopathatic iritis and sent me home with steroids. When that didn’t help, I was sent to a Retina Specialist, who took one look at my eyes through the slit lamp and proclaimed that I most likely had lupus or ankylosing spondylitis. I was sent to a rheumatologist who diagnosed me through xrays, lab work to check for the hbla 27 gene and elevated SED rate. By the time I was diagnosed with iritis, my eyes had been inflamed for weeks and it caused irreparable damage to my eyes, leaving me with poor vision and thick cataracts. My disease has begun to affect my spine, hips, my ribs, my heart and kidneys and now, I have been also diagnosed with RA and PsA. I take iv Remicade, cytoxan, methotrexate and steroids to keep the disease in check. It has been a long four years, there’s so much to learn about autoimmune diseases and it can get very frustrating being in pain all the time. I have a wonderful husband and family that are my support group. That is the most important thing: Don’t shut out your family. Tell them how you are really feeling and accept the help that’s offered you. AS has taken a lot of my independence away and at times, that can be depressing and hard to live with, but I know that I am blessed to have such a wonderful family.

Louisiana United States of America

6 Responses to “A.S. Face 0594: Jessica Ruth Walle”

  1. Thanks Jessica! I hope the iritis has been cooled down now. I hates it. You know what I love about FACE’s. Seeing all the smiles through the pain. The smiles are like a light house cutting through the dark.

  2. Derek is right. My AS had a course very similar to yours Jessica. Hope and determination are really boosted by family and friends. My hope for you is that your limitations do not rob you of your sense of value. You can make a huge difference. Sometimes the path is obvious, right in front of you. Other times you have to search for it and results are fleeting. But when you see the impact of your efforts on others you will know all this pain is worth it. Kindness is the key, and seems you have that Jessica. Many blessings! Face #503

  3. Jessica thanks for sharing your story with us. I also became diagnosed due to bouts of Iritis, so I am with you girl! Stand Tall because knowing is half the battle in fighting! I am very happy that you have such a good support team to help you, that is so important. We are warriors, each and every single one of us who face the challenges every day of Anklylosing Spondylitis!

  4. welcome Jessica.

  5. Dear Jessica,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.
    Sincerely Cookie

  6. love you mom and i miss

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