A.S. Face 0649: Mark Morley
Hello, My name is Mark Morley. I live in Ridgecrest California. I was diagnosed with AS in 1999 after having an inflammation that caused every joint on my left side to swell up. The worst was my left knee. It hurt so bad that I was basically bed ridden and this went on for 3 months while I was being poked and prodded by doctors and had lots of tests done to try to figure out what was wrong with me. After the 3 months of not being able to do anything but lay in bed I was sent to a Rheumatologist who, after his testing said I had AS and that the inflammation was probably reactive arthritis. They never could confirm that though. With the medications he prescribed for me the pain and swelling started going down and I was able to return to working after 6 months but it was very hard for me. I continued to feel week and always had some pain.
After about a year other major problems started to show up. I developed severe asthma because my lungs where being restricted because the ribs where fusing and preventing lung expansion. I developed scar tissue in the lower third of each lung. I also started having neurological problems and started seeing a Neurologist who promptly told me I had ALS. I was sent to UCSF Medical Center and it took them 6 months to finally say that I did not have ALS. What a relief that was. But they had no idea what was causing my neurological pain and tremors. They did say that I had mild Neuropathy. I thought if this was mild I did not want to know what severe was.
My Conditions got so bad that I was unable to work at all. I closed my business at the end of 2002 and applied for disability. It took 5 years for me to win my case but I finally did.
In 2003 I got a new Rheumatologist because my first one retired. This guy never did anything for me but prescribe medicine and disagree with everything the previous Rheumatologist had told me. I stopped seeing him after about a year. It took me til 2010 to finally get another Rheumatologist. The new one was really good and changed my medicine and prescribed Enbrel which has really been helping me. He also Diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia which finally explained my neurological problems. He said I still had some Neuropathy though so I have both.
I moved to Ridgecrest just this last May to help take care of my parents who are getting up in the years and have some major health problems. Even with my health issues I am able to help them out a lot.
California United States of America