A.S. Face 1013: David Perry

Face 1013

This is in remembrance of my uncle David Perry. I have 4 uncles and I was always the closest with “uncle Dave.” I know now years later after his death why we were so connected. I (face 268) was not diagnosed until after his death of a massive heart attack. He was only in his early 50s. I remember family speaking of his symptoms starting in his early 20s. He had an accident in a factory he was working in and hurt his neck. He may have broken it but I can’t definitely say that is true for certain. However I do know it was injured and that’s when it all seemed to start. He was in agony through most of my memories of him as a child. None of the doctors knew what was going on with him. I remember my aunt (her husband) telling me after my diagnosis that there were times he would come home and would be so stiff that she would have to move his legs and get him out of the car. So many times we couldn’t even touch him anywhere because of his pain. He never stopped going for fear he would not be able to get going again.  He would sleep on the couch and have 6 to 7 couch pillows to support his body. He went thru countless hip and shoulder replacements, tremendous pain and medical issues our family would call spells. These spells consisted of him turning very pale and then passing out. Ambulance would always be called as I child I don’t know what the paramedics done for him to wake him from these spells but they were bet scary. They went to doctor after doctor, specialist after specialists with no luck. No one had a clue. After he was fused out from head to toe, his countless surgeries he finally received the diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis. At that point there was nothing they could do for him but try to keep him out of the devastating pain. He was on so many pain medications and they told him that if they would have caught it sooner they could have helped him. They say the pain stops after fusion but according to the way he was this wasn’t true for him. I wish everyday that he was still here because I have so many questions for him and would tell him I understand. His body suffered one of the most severe cases. His left leg became shorter than the right one and I’m not sure how much height he lost. He is my hero because he endured so much and I never recall hearing him complain. He had been with his wife since they were teenagers or maybe even younger than that. She was there for him thru it all and I know at times it was difficult as he would become quite harsh with her. But I think we all get in those places because the pain gets us to a place of anger, no escape, no answers….just pain. Through the years it mangled, twisted and tortured his body. Without the support of his wife I don’t think he would have made it as long as he did. I can remember on all mothers days, christmases or any holiday that was gift giving along with birthdays it was so important to buy such beautiful gifts for his mother and wife. Beautiful water fountains, wooden clocks or anything that held a special place in their heart. He had the biggest heart even thru his  that I know now was due to pain. My uncle was my hero and I’m so regretful that I didn’t realize it til after his death. If I could just have one last conversation with him. I love you Dave and you are so missed by your loved ones. Til that day we meet again….

In loving memory of David Perry

With Love Jennifer Curtis face 268

Tennessee, United States of America

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2 Responses to “A.S. Face 1013: David Perry”

  1. Dear Jennifer,
    Thank you so much for sharing your Uncle’s story with us.
    Sincerely Cookie

  2. David Perry is my brother and he is missed more then words could ever express. When David’s problem first started he was stiff and sore all the time, no Dr. new what was wrong with him, no answers was available for him , after his medical bills got so high he tried to get on disability and he was told there was nothing wrong with him and he was drug seeking, it took him about 10 yrs. to get his disability started, he then started going to Vanderbilt hospital in Nashville Tn. and there is where they told him he had A.S. by this time his disease had progressed to such a point all they could try and do is make him comfortable, David had several hip and shoulder shoulders and had medal plates put in his shoulders and hips, but he kept going, he said this disease wasn’t going to get him, last 3 yrs of his life they again had to do surgery on Davids hip and shoulder this time he developed a staff infection and had to leave his hip and shoulder out for 6 mo. they sent him home like that and he was in so much pain and nothing no one could do but watch, what a helpless feeling for him and all that was around him. Davids neck had fused he could not turn it from side to side his back fused he could not bend over he had to stoop down , the specialist told him his chest was caving in and it would someday smother him, he had no good news ever about his disease but he was determined it wasn’t going to keep him down, the disease did get him but I got to say it didn’ t keep him down, he was a true fighter and I believe he is in heaven today running and bending and doing all the things he couldn’t do on this earth, I miss him everyday and there is peace and no more pain for him. I love you dearly David

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