A.S. Face 0634: Colleen Hnilica

Started having pain in my early 20’s. Everyone told me it was in my head. I suffered for so many years until I started getting iritis. My eye dr thought he knew what the trouble was and gave me a name for it. I went to a rheumatologist and sure enough it finally had a name. Trouble is way back then they put me on celebrex and told me there was nothing else I could do for it. Years later I am totally fused from my neck to my tailbone and I only have daily mild pain with the exception of a lot of headaches from my neck and I cant run, jump or do anything really physical. I am now 59 and have learned to live with it. I am fused with a bent neck and have little self esteem about the way I look. The saddest part of my story is my now 28yr old son who was diagnosed at 14 and has since had both hips replaced already and walks with a cane. He is very bent over and in extreme pain daily. That hurts me worse than any pain I have ever been in. Thanks to this group and others like it I feel like finally we are not alone!

Tennessee United States of America


6 Responses to “A.S. Face 0634: Colleen Hnilica”

  1. Dear Colleen,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.
    Sincerely Cookie

  2. Ah, but Colleen, you’re an AS survivor! You are an example for all that YES, there is light at the end of the AS tunnel. And for that, I thank you. It’s stories like yours that build up the rest of us. I feel terrible about your son. I hope he’s taking a lot more than Celebrex. My point is ,it must be somewhat comforting to know there are so many more powerfull “newer” drugs than when you were diagnosed. And I feel comforted knowing that your son has YOU as an inspiration and guide to AS.

    PS-is that your husband? Do I sense another AS love story here? I think AS love stories are thee most romantic. Cookie, you “young” romantic, don’t ya just love it!

  3. Hello Colleen – Thank you for sharing your story – it really hit home, my mother (1920-1988) was told for years the pain was in her head – when I was diagnoised in 1984 she was devestated. Very warm regards, Jim –
    face 103.

  4. Dear Colleen, you are so right ! The pain of passing onto your kids is the worsed! And now we aren’t sur if we should be getting the grandkids test so we can watch for signs earlier. It sucks as Im 3rd generation. Lots of my family are hla-b27 + and have A.S. prayers your way! Kathy

  5. Hi Colleen! We are both the same age. 🙂 I was diagnosed at 32. Both my daughters are HLA-B27 positive. Neither have AS symptoms, but our oldest daughter has had hypermobile joints her entire life, which cuses her some considerable pain.

  6. Hi Colleen! We are both the same age. 🙂 I was diagnosed at 32. Both my daughters are HLA-B27 positive. Neither have AS symptoms, but our oldest daughter has had hypermobile joints her entire life, which causes her some considerable pain.

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