A.S. Face 1131: Wendy Hamilton
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