A.S. Face 0753: Jessica Molina

Face 753

My name is Jessica Molina, I’m 22 years old from Canyon, TX and I have Ankylosing Spondylitis. I was diagnosed in March of 2012. I began to  have low back pain when I was 17 years old. I had just started working as a nurse’s aide and just figured my pain came from lifting all the time. I noticed I complained more about my back pain than the other aides and saw my normal physician all the time. He would prescribe me muscle relaxers and Ibuprofen and send me on my way; but I was back in his office at least two weeks later still complaining. After a while I decided to see a chiropractor thinking that would help. He  took me off the muscle relaxers and Ibuprofen. He did x-rays and thought that I might being having problems in my lumbar/sacral spine. I saw the chiropractor for about two years to no avail. Sure, at the moment it felt great but after I would get home, the pain was back. Also around that time, I was beginning to feel pain in my hips and knees and didn’t know why. I couldn’t sit still for 30 minutes. I always had to change positions. I wasn’t getting answers and I was feeling tired everyday, so I sought out a spine specialist. He did x-rays as well and thought I might have a compression fracture. I thought, “Finally!!! Answers!” However, that wasn’t the case. So instead of giving up, he did every other test. I had an MRI, CT scan, & bone scan all with contrast. After a week I was contacted by his PA. She explained they saw what described as “hot” areas in my lower back, sacroiliac joint, & hips. She said they were going to refer me a rheumatologist. After my first visit with her, she diagnosed me with AS. I had mixed emotions at the time. I knew I couldn’t just have back pain for no reason, but at the same time I didn’t want it to be anything at all. She started me on Simponi & Sulindac, which I still take today. Since then, I have also been put on Topamax for migraines and Flexeril for muscle spasms. Today I am dealing with everything the best I can. I find it hard to explain to others why I’m in so much pain or so tired because I feel they won’t understand. Most older adults tell me I’m too young to be in that type of pain and it frustrates me. I still work as a nurse’s aide and I am currently in nursing school. Both of these don’t make the pain hurt any less, but I have always wanted to be a nurse and I won’t let AS hold me back. I just have to pray that the medication will do its job and lessen my pain. Some days after work I can barley get in & out of my car or walk upstairs to my apartment. Most of my co-workers and students begin their day fresh and then complain of tiredness and pain at the end of the day. But I start my day that way and end my day that way. I’m so glad I’m not the only one out there who is suffering. I’m glad there are people out there who understand the way I feel. I’m happy I came across this blog because  we are like a club, we understand each other. 🙂

Texas United States of America


3 Responses to “A.S. Face 0753: Jessica Molina”

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

  2. Jessica, It is great that you are not letting the pain and fatigue get in the way of becoming a nurse. You are to be applauded for your determination and strength. Talk to your Rheumatologist about the fatigue. One of the causes of the fatigue is that because of the pain, people with AS do not sleep deeply. My doctor put me on three medications to help me to sleep, one reduces the pain and the other two are forms of anti-depressants that help me to relax so I get a good nights sleep. Also add exercises to your routine. All though it might not seem like it at first, exercises actually decrease pain. Ask for a referral to a physical therapist to teach you exercises that will help your spine and reduce the pain.

    Keep striving for your dreams.

  3. Jessica, thank you for sharing your story…… we are all in this together !! Praying for a cure !!

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