A.S. Face 1366: Thad

Face 1366

May 30, 1967 – February 24, 2019

Hello AS community! My name is Thad and I am in Atlanta, GA.

I had started a really detailed analysis and description of my struggle with AS. I had been reading “Faces” for awhile now thanks to my wife finding it. I have recently had two events compel me to scrap that idea and just speak from the heart.

I am a big West Virginia  University fan both football and basketball. I belong to a WVU sports forum…I jokingly posted a thread asking what local good eats could be smuggled into the Med Center there as I am having my first back surgery at the WVU Spine Center soon. I got an odd private message from a guy named Mike. He had never posted on that board and felt “compelled” to reach out to me(so I guess I am “paying it forward”). Mike’s brother, Chris, had AS. Chris had hip replacement surgery and fought the good fight against this insidious disease and yet sadly, Chris ended his fight. I know his brother Mike plans to post his story here on “Faces”.  I know he will do a much better job than I can. Suffice it to say, I have now been adopted by a new brother who shares a disdain for AS and a love of The Mountaineers.

The second event that compelled me to post here on “Faces” was Cookie’s recent post sharing milestones and unfortunately our losses. Any loss to AS is one too many…I now know of 5.

I have now had AS for 30 years…I have lost 7″ in height as bone fusion has taken over. It took 20 of those years to even diagnose me. I will not bore you with all the details of meds and such I have been through. I am now, because of ” quality of life” issues, electing to have a “wedge” of my upper lumbar spine removed in December. It will apparently gain me 2-3″ of height back, take some pressure off of my lungs and give me some pain relief. Am I scared? You bet! I have quite a few secret weapons though! My wife and father are my immediate support (and cheerleaders), my Aunts and Uncles, a multitude of friends, my Aquatic Therapists Angel and “Sam” who have been working my rear off preparing me for surgery, and my “brother” Mike along with my new friends here at “Faces”.

Maybe I am too stubborn, mean and ornery to let AS beat me. I don’t know. I DO know when I am having bad days…I rely on my army of secret weapons, gut it out, place a smirk on my face (a smile is hard sometimes) and cheer on my Mountaineers!

I will now add my “Faces of AS” family as a team to root for!

Thanks for reading,


Georgia, United States of America


7 Responses to “A.S. Face 1366: Thad”

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

  2. Hey Thad,
    I also have AS, I’ve had it for 35 plus years but not diagnosed until 2010. Your story stuck me right in the heart. When you said you are afraid of the surgery. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers as you start your journey with the surgery. I’m with you, that sometimes it’s hard to smile, but I try very hard to stay up. Fear is always what gets me down. I’m so glad you have a new found brother, that’s great for both of you! I’m face 510 I believe, over 50 and I can’t always remember stuff LOL. keep me updated and I’ll keep praying for you and your family. Love your dog!
    Nadean- Lincoln NE

    • Thanks Nadean! I will keep everyone posted on my surgery and I will tell Nikki(my boxer) that she has a fan!!!!

  3. I promised to keep everyone updated…so, here we go. I am now cleared by all pre-op doctors. My labs all came back great…other than some wall thickening (which is reversible) my heart is fantastic. I depart Sunday for West Virginia. I will meet surgeon and anesthesiologist for final pre-op on Monday. Assuming all goes well…I will have the spine surgery Dec. 2.

    Have a great Thanksgiving my AS family!

  4. I have an update. I have been doing Ketamine infusions since March of this year. The results have been astounding. It reduces my pain level from a 7-8 down to a 3 for 6-8 weeks at a time. It is a little freaky as it is a horse tranquilizer and an hallucinogenic(legal LSD) but the results speak for themselves. They are also getting 75/80% reduction in pain for Fibromayalgia, Nerve Pain and chronic migraines. You start off with 5 half days of infusions…then down to 3 day and finally 2 day boosters every couple of months. It has made a huge difference in my quality of life. I thought I would share it with you. You can look it up on the North Fulton Hospital Spine & Pain Center Alpharetta, Ga 30041

  5. Hey All I haven’t been on in awhile BUT I come back bearing good news! I have finally found the golden ticket in pain management. I have been on Ketamine infusion Therapy.i have been on it for 14 months. It works great reduced my pain level from an 8+ to a 3 for 6 weeks at a time so a 75-80% reduction in pain. It is a little freaky at first because​ it is essentially legal LSD a hallucinogenic drug but you are monitored by medical staff. If you have questions about it drop me an email Thad.crowe@gmail.com put Faces of AS in the subject and I will be happy to walk you right through it step by step…It is certainly the very very best pain mgmt I have ever been on. It even allowed me to reduce my take home pain meds by 50% I have also dropped the strength of my take home meds…We have dropped me from OxyContin to Lortab. It’s an AMAZING pain treatment regimen.

  6. I have this AS and it is the most horrible thing anyone can have. The meds I’m on from my specialist help a little but some days they do nothing

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