A.S. Face 1189: Robert Gregory
My name is Rob.
I live in Puyallup, WA, and I have Ankylosing spondylitis.
Way back in 1968 my right knee was swollen. Out of the blue, it seems. Mom took me to the doctor who gave me an injection of penicillin, assuming I had an infection. Before long I was admitted to the children’s hospital (I was 8 at the time), for a ten day complete bedrest visit. The diagnosis was juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
About eleven years later after years of arthritis clinic visits the diagnosis changed to Ankylosing spondylitis. The rheumatologist told me what may happen with the disease.
After years of no obvious progression of the AS I suddenly had serious tinnitus and “plugged” ears. After numerous doctor visits I was sent to an ear, nose and throat specialist who after examination and interview suspected Autoimmune Inner Ear disease related to AS. Before long I was seeing a rheumatologist, the first time in over thirty years. Exam and x-rays showed fusion of my lower spine, blood tests showed the genetic marker common to most sufferers of this disease.
I am now on prednisone which has slowed the hearing loss, though not until I am nearly completely deaf in my right ear. My left ear has stabilized. I have a hearing aid for it, the aid did nothing for my right ear.
I am now 54 years old. I am an old timer with this disease.
Washington, United States of America