A.S. Face 1402: Leah Ann
I’m Leah Ann. I’m a wife, mother of 6 kids (16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 23), grandmother to a gorgeous 19 month old little princess, a career Correctional Officer, and I have AS.
I was diagnosed with AS in 2006 by my chiropractor who was treating me for a pinched nerve due to my Degenerative Disc Disease in my neck. I have since been diagnosed with Isthmic Spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis (lumbar & cervical) & bilateral pars defect.
I haven’t allowed my many issues to stop me from working. It slows me down from time to time, but I am strong. I work in a Psychiatric penitentiary. I climb the ladder to my perimeter picket where I usually am for 12 long hours. I’m currently only on PRN meds and had an epidural in May, which eased the neuropathy and spasms from neck to tailbone and from hip to knee. I have suffered with migraines for 4 years due to the neck pain.
My husband has been great through all of this. I don’t know if he understands the reality of this disease and the posit le crippling effects it could have on my future, but he has helped me every time I have been down, every doctors visit, procedure, etc. I am very grateful for an understanding man. When we first started dating, he paid my doctor for me to have 32 sessions of cervical decompression via the chiropractor. I was able to regain feeling and lose the “pins & needles” sensation and burning in my left arm and hand. He didn’t have to pay for it, but he did. That was a huge show of compassion.
Currently, I am waiting for word from my neurosurgeon to give the green light for surgery on my lumbar area. They will do a TLIF, Gills Laminectomy, Disvevtomy, Decompression and place rod/screws with bone graft fusing the L4-5. He will also be doing my cervical surgery where my neck is beginning to fuse, but my nerves are impinged, so he will do a discectomy at the C5-6, 6-7 & place rods & screws with bone graft between Vertebrae to fuse.
I’m praying my initial surgery doesn’t have me down very long, as I work for the State and don’t get much time off. I’ve been coming to work, saving my time, whether I was sick or hurting. I’m praying 2015 is the year I get to heal. I have lost 32 pounds in 4 months. I just want to be healthy enough to enjoy my grandchild and my child I still have at home.
Texas, United States of America