A.S. Face 0712: Pamela O’Hare

Face 712Pam OhareAs I lay here, 8 weeks out of surgery from having a pain pump implant, I look back at the long and winding road that brought me here.

My name is Pamela O’Hare and I live in the Pacific Northwest.  I have Ankylosing Spondylitis and I am 54 years old.
My story started in 1986.  I gave birth to my 3rd child earlier in the year.  Dx’d with Ulcerative Colitis a little latter on in the year and by the end of the year Dx’d with A.S.  I was on Sulpha for 4 years and went into spontaneous remission.  I am very thankful that I was blessed with this remission to go on raising my children.  Very little was known about A.S. then.  I got a small brochure and was told little by my Dr.  I assumed you had to have U.C. to have A.S. There were no personal computers to look things up then.  To my surprise when I came out of remission at the age of about 50, I didn’t have a clue as to what was going on.  I didn’t have Colitis anymore and went to see several Rheumatologist who threw every NSAID known to man at me to no avail.  Pain started increasing and I felt real bone pain in my spine throughout and still no dx.  Some primary care physicians wouldn’t take me after we moved to a new area due to pain issues.  I felt like a pariah.  I had been dx’d with Fibro about 5 years prior to that.  This was something different! This was bone pain unlike Fibro that hurts in the muscles and every other soft tissue.  I was desperate for relief from both by then.  Again, I was blessed by my husbands office manager who had a pain pump.  I ran to my first pain clinic and found relief.  Found another Rheumatologist an hour and a half away.  By this time I had seen the word Ankylosing Spondylitis on a Fibro message board and now had a computer.  I flew to this new Rheumy and at first he was quite unbelieving.  He didn’t take any M.R.I.s or x-rays.  I saw my former back surgeon and had him take full M.R.I.s of my spine and there was the proof.  He just recently took more.  Rheumatologist then put me on a TNF blocker and when that one didn’t work he put me on another.  Now I go for infusions.  Still progressing fast.  Nothing seems to stop this beast.  I am completely disabled but not approved for disability yet.  I fight Uveitis constantly and am currently fusing at the ribs and my neck is almost done fusing.  My shoulder is involved now too.  Still, very thankful for the time I had to raise my children.  I feel like I have a Tiger and a Bear in my body and they are fighting all of the time.
With this new pain pump to rid me from the horrible bone pain of Ankylosing Spondylitis, I feel I have a new chance at life.
Pamela O’Hare
Washington, United States of America

4 Responses to “A.S. Face 0712: Pamela O’Hare”

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

  2. So sad that this disease can do so much damage.
    How is the pain pump? Is it helping?
    Sending healing.
    Jacquie

  3. You and few other new friends have given me a new leash on life. I have a name and I have support that affirmed who I am. Thanks for sharing Pea – Hugs!

  4. Yes, Jacquie, the pain has helped immensely. I had intractable pain that no med’s could take care of and this has changed my life. I know longer have that horrible bone pain and stiffness in my spine.

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