A.S. Face 0812: Ted Basile Jr
I was diagnosed around 2004 at age 28 after 6 years of seeing a few Orthopedics, a pain management doctor and one Rheumatologist that blew me off. There were a couple of ER visits, one really stands out because the ER doctor believed I was a junkie looking for pain meds. I have never used an illegal drug of any sort, nor do I enjoy prescribed pain meds. My early symptoms were extreme lower back aches that would wake me up. I could not sleep more than about 3 hours without getting up for 30 mins or so and walking or stretching. At the worst point I was dragging one leg and exhibited symptoms similar a stroke victim except that it was only in my lower extremities.
While seeing the pain management doctor I was also seeing a Chiropractor at the pain doc’s request. After an unsuccessful pain injection in the SI joints in my lower back, a follow-up visit with the Chiropractor and the unpleasant ER visit I previously mentioned, it was learned that I had developed an infection from the last injection. I was sent to an infectious disease doctor who knew Rheumatology very well because his best friend and former college roommate was the chief of Rheumatology at the University of Penn in Philadelphia (At the time I lived in Atlantic City, NJ). On my first visit with him, he knew in his mind what I had….the Chiropractor had picked up on it as well and had been researching it for me. He was able to get me in with his friend at U of Penn and the rest is history. After extensive testing, scans and medication trials I am generally feeling fine and enjoying life. I have my bad days but they are tolerable and few and far between. Humira has been my wonder drug. I have no visible signs of A.S and have full mobility. I have moved to San Antonio, TX and was able to find a great set of doctors here as well.
I am self employed as a mobile tool distributor and I drive my truck from stop to stop all day, all week. I sit for a bit in between stops and I walk around each one. I think this career is really helping me because I get my needed rest periods while being generally active all day. My wife, 9 year old daughter and I travel twice a year and do what we want. I don’t feel that I have any limitations because of A.S. I can play with my daughter, I can swim, ride bikes, play ball, run with her…..anything she wants. She even jumps on my back and I can carry her around. When she was an infant, I couldn’t even hold her, but now I can. I couldn’t be happier at this point and live for the day because I know that things could change at any time.
I will not allow A.S. to slow me down….when it flares up, I beat it down by forcing myself to get up and move!
Ted Basile Jr
Texas United States of America