A.S. Face 0684: Julie Woloszyn

Hi my name is Julie and I am a 48 year old mother of 3.  I have 2 daughters, 21 and 23, in college and a 13 year old son that is a ball of energy.  My husband is the most caring and understanding man on earth.  I have AS.  I found out about 3 months ago but have been suffering from the symptoms since I was very young.  I have lived with so much pain for the past 10+ years.  No one could tell me what was wrong.  I have always known the pain I feel was linked one way or another.  I have been diagnosed with degenerative disk disease, bulging disk at L and C level disk, Cervical Neuralgia, SI joint dysfunction, Occipital Neuralgia, acute/chronic migraines, muscle spasms, Trigeminal Neuralgia, depression, anxiety, fibro neuralgia, and the list goes on.   Every doctor I saw seemed to treat me for one of these conditions but would never look at the big picture.   Nothing provided me with pain relief except for maybe a massage and that was very temporary.   I have been unable to work now for approximately 3 years.    Most doctors treated me like I was just looking for pain medication which I was not.  I wanted to know what was wrong and I wanted it fixed.  Finally about 2 years ago I went to a doctor who believed I was having all of these problems.  He was persistent in trying to find out what was going on.   After several test and several specialist, he finally sent me to a nationally ranked Rheumatologist and he diagnosed me on the first visit even before the blood results were in.   It was scary at first to find out what I had but I was finally happy to know I wasn’t just crazy and that what I have is real.  I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense; knowing something was wrong but not knowing what was so frustrating.   I was put on 3 different types of medication and after just the first month I was spending less days in bed unable to function and now I actually have hope that I may still have a chance at enjoying life, to some degree, again.   I have always been very active and the past 3 years of not being able to do even the simplest of task has been very depressing.  I still have bad days and I still have pain daily but it is much better than it was 3 months ago.  I am sorry for anyone else out there that is suffering from AS but I am glad I am not alone.

Tennessee United States of America

3 Responses to “A.S. Face 0684: Julie Woloszyn”

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

  2. I am sorry to hear you have suffered so long. Seems to be very common in the medical field as I was 12 years without knowing. I completely understand how you feel, it is scary and soooo depressing. Big (gentle) hug! JoDeane

  3. I am so sorry for your pain and depression. No one understands this better than those who have this. The medical field is slowly learning but not very well it seems. It took 12 years for me to know and that was after many years before of weird things and a ton of misdiagnosed illnesses. Most thought I was looking for a handout or excuse to whine and not work. I didn’t “look sick” most of the time. You hold on and keep fighting. Big (gentle) hug, JoDeane

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