A.S. Face 1264: Tara R. Frazier
I was diagnosed in 1998, by my primary care doctor. I went in to see her for a very sore and swollen clavicle and heal pain and pain at the base of my toes and low back pain. I was 35 at the time. I had always had some sort of ache, or swelling so I figured it was due to my love of sports, physical fitness and being a mom. I have had random injuries since I was 10. My parents thought I was accident prone. Anyway. I did not take her advice and go to a Rheumatologist. I ignored it. I thought she was crazy. Well a few years later, my son presented with swollen toes, then thumbs, then the middle fingers and constant diahrea (He was 12 at the time). Off to the doctor we go. The first doctor said he needed to lay off the video games and his thumbs would be fine. I for some reason was not happy with that, took him to a trusted friend MD and he immediatley got him in to see a Rheumy. My son was diagnosed with AS and Crohns!!! So I researched it and then made the connection, but I chose to put it off a little longer. So in 2003 when I couldnt take the pain anymore, I remembered the first doctors diagnosis, I went to see a Rheumy, he looked at me did the fibro pressure point test and said to take anti depressants because I was depressed and sent me on my way. Again, not happy so I looked up a new one. The new Rheumy said “Spondyloarthrapy”. I have been dealing with this doctor for 11 years now and he finally put me on Enbrel!! He upgraded my dx to Undifferentiated Spondyloarthrapy, and in order to get a prescription for Enbrel there must be a dx of AS. So with all of that I remembered that my mother also has had issues with her shoulders, hips, low back, kness etc. I went to stay with her when she had her pacemaker installed. Guess what? She too has AS or something close to it. She had no idea that all of these things came together. All three of us are HLA-B27 positive and we put others before ourselves in order not to let the pain get to us. So all in all, its been a terrific ride, self discovery, compassion for myself and for others. I have a totally different view of people now. My son and I have a whole new relationship as well. Currently I am teaching karate, swim, garden, and weekend rides with my husband on the back of our 2012 Harley Davidson Ultra Classic. As I write this I am feeling really good. The meds work, I pace myself at work and at home. Today is a down day so I am in a fantastic mood, feeling positive and optimistic about our futures. Tomorrow may be different so I will make the most of it for today!! Thank you for putting this all together. After chatting with others on the Facebook site, I see myself and others so much differently, now I can take care and not feel guilty and plan better for the down days. I hope you are doing well!!
Tara R. Frazier
South Carolina, United States of America