A.S. Face 1131: Wendy Hamilton

Face 1131 IMG_18925320210416 IMG_18940949069315

Hello my name is Wendy and I live in Portland Oregon. I was diagnosed 14 years ago when I was 22 with ankylosing spondylitis. I was scared because I had never heard of it. I had pains in my spine and knew something was wrong besides just a sore back. My spine felt like it was almost scraping when I would bend. My Rheumatologist put me on pain pills and methotrexate. I had a hard time giving myself shots in the leg…. so I stopped. I dealt with it for about 2 years with nothing and it got worse. I went back in and I had began to progress with every year that went by. I used to be a 8 to 10 mile extreme trail hiker about 1 time a week and short hikes daily hikes daily on insane terrain. I fought to keep doing it but had to slow down… then stop all together. I used to run 5 to 10 miles a day… I was very upset when all this was stripped away from me.

After all these years I am and have been in very intensive physical therapy 3 times a week and on pain pills, gabepentin and a muscle relaxer. Nothing works. Nothing. I try to do anything I can now but it just keeps getting worse. It now has affected my shoulders, hips, SI joints and my left knee and ankle.

I am a fighter with this. You have to be with this condition. I don’t let it run my life, I work around it. I stay as active as I can with walks and now going to join a gym to start using the machines, hot tub and heated pool. The last 2 of those will be my favorite lol. I won’t give up. If you give up, you’re giving away your life to this disease, and yourself. I make sure I get out everyday! You have to keep moving even tho it is hard sometimes.

I am soooo happy I found people with AS. I have made some friends on another Facebook page about AS and it’s nice to talk to people who know what you’re going through. I am a face…. One that won’t give up. If you would like to keep in contact… I am on Facebook.  Just look up Wendy Elsey. It will say Hamilton next to it (maiden name was Elsey). I would love to keep in contact. Thank you for having this page to help people. Very cool.   🙂

Oregon, United States of America


4 Responses to “A.S. Face 1131: Wendy Hamilton”

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

  2. Wendy would love to talk with you! Please contact me! Going through some extremely bad pain! I have it in my ankles! Email me at MichaelCaroselli111@gmail.com
    Hope to hear from you!

  3. Hello Wendy…Gald you found “us” and thank you for sharing your story. I’d like to humbly suggest that you try to focus your treatment more on inflamation than the pain…I’m face #103; my mother is face #102 – I’ve got 35+ years of dealing with AS. Please free feel to contact me if you’d like to chat more about what I’ve learned over the years. Jim Weatherhead (also on Facebook)

  4. Thank you for sharing. I am newly diagnosed and know that I have been struggling with this disease for years. I’ll do my best to keep moving too. 🙂

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