A.S. Face 1219: Kelly Stercks
My name is Kelly Stercks and I am from New Mexico. I have been reading all the “faces” stories and always have been so reluctant to share my “face”. I am a 40 yr old wife and daughter of a 16 yr old. My story seems to get so complicated at times and that is probably one reason why i have taken so long in writing. I remember as a teen laying in bed with pain in my back so bad but I never said anything to my parents. The pain would get so bad I would actually get sick to my stomach. The pain continued to get worse. Once i got married in 96 I started telling my family how i was feeling. My doctors at the time just blew it off and just gave me meds to help. Nothing was really ever done. Back in 2007 my family finally got me to start seeing a specialist and that’s when we finally started getting some answers. I am HLA-B27 positive also. My whole body would hurt and I have had two knee surgeries already to help relieve some pain. It had affected my back my knees and my hips very bad. They are swollen all the time. If i am lucky to keep my pain level at a 5 than i consider that a good day. I also have lots of kidney problems as well. Have had couple kidney surgeries but don’t know if its connected to AS or if its separate issue. I have always been a very active person. I love to exercise and I love to work. AS has slowed me down so much cuz my body is telling me “no”. I am a very strong minded and some would say very stubborn at times. I dont want to give in to the disease but now i know I dont have much of a choice now. I take tramadol and also hydrocodone to make it thru the day and am also on enbrel injections weekly. I feel the most comfortable when i am laying on my side curled in the fetal position even though I know that is not a good sign but thats the only way to get quick relief. I also have a TENS unit that my doctor prescribed for me. One of my worst fears with having an auto-immune was that my daughter would get it. Well my heart was broke to find out that our daughter is and will have to fight auto-immune also. She started breaking out with terrible mouth ulcers and was covering inside her whole mouth. As soin as they would heal more would come rite away. Aling with noticing her losing so much hair and also breaking out in spider like rashes we took her to her dr. Her labs showed positive for auto immune and her rheumatoid factor was double. She is now in plaquenil and pain meds and now on sulfasalazine. We do t have exact diagnosis yet. Like we all know it can take awhile to get an exact diagnosis. Thank you for reading my story. I am a very private person and I am not one to be so open about what is wrong and how I am feeling.
New Mexico, United States of America