A.S. Face 1094: Jessica Sachtjen

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Pain in the AS! I’be been dealing with back pain for many years. At first my doctors thought it was because I was over weight and worked as a nurse assistant and it was hard on my body. I cut back on work lost weight even had a lap band placed to help in a quicker manner. I’ve done physical therapy. NOTHING seemed to work. I kept on till I would literally shake uncontrollably because of the pain. I have xrays and mris but nothing severe enough to stand out. My inflammation levels were always elevated. Stiff and sore always. Finally a dear friend of mine that has AS told me about this disease. The worst time i have ever had was when i had a flare so bad I couldn’t put weight on my right leg my SI joint was so inflamed I couldn’t even get my spinal injections because I was so sore I was throwing up. So after my friend told me I  brought it up to my drs and they said there’s no way I could have it because I’m a woman and I need a strong genetic back ground for it. I am not close with my Dads side. Almost a year past by after my friend said my complications and symptoms sounded exactly like hers. My paternal  grandfather passed away and I found out than that my Dad has it. A few of his siblings and so on. After learning that I went straight to my dr and demanded the blood test for hLA-B27 and it was positive. I finally had a face so to say to this damn burden that I have been dealing with for years, feeling like I’m going crazy or the pain could have been all in my head. It scares me knowing I am positive because I have children. My oldest son (12) has been complaining off and on for a cpl years that his back hurts more in the morning and at night. I have to go get him checked, yes I have pushed it off because I am scared to know the answer. I did have it rescheduled and will be taking him to his appt to check foe the gene as well and have him monitored. If he is positive and I passed this on to my son I don’t knw how I could ever live with myself knowing I passed this to him! Knowing the life of pain he will have ahead of him. However, I do have a wonderful family. An amazing support system of family and friends. With out them I don’t think I could make it through my bad times. I am grateful for the AS groups that are out there. Its nice to knw there are more people out there that are going through what I am going through. Thank you and God bless those who choose to get up everyday and live one more day through this rough life. My motto Walk by faith, not by sight

South Dakota, United States of America


3 Responses to “A.S. Face 1094: Jessica Sachtjen”

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

  2. My oldest son was diagnosed first and then I. He has been symptom free for over a year and a half. I am not so lucky. I remind myself daily though that it could be worse…at least it’s not cancer. I have been doing remicade infusions every 4 weeks for about a year and take an anti- inflammatory and cymbalta daily. I have found with the right meds I am able to do just about anything I could do before. I pray you will too.

  3. Hi Jessica
    I feel your pain, literally ( I’m lying flat on my back on the floor right now to relieve some pain) and although I have yet to receive a dx (had X-ray last week) my rhuematologist does not test for gene because it’s not a 100% indicator for AS. While about 90% w AS have the gene – not everyone w the gene had AS. There’s a good chance my grandfather suffered from it and my daughter has been complaining for various shoulder/wrist/elbow pains. This is a terrible ailment that needs better- less dangerous side effects – RXs Bless us all and May future days be pain/fatigue free!!

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