A.S. Face 1569: Patrick Svoboda Sr.

Face 1569

In 1983 at the age of 19 and married I started having lower back pain. From age 10 up through high school I worked on farms, in factories and everywhere in between. I related my pain with my work history. It became so bad I struggled to get out of bed daily. I went to various doctors, specialists, and chiropractors. They all had their opinions but no real answers. I had my daughter at age 20 and my son at age 21. I still had no answers to what was causing my pain. Three weeks after my son was born my wife left leaving my children and I behind. I had to keep working now more than ever. I remember silently crying myself to sleep countless times. I was sad, frustrated, angry and very afraid. I was hurting and didn’t know where to turn for help. For the next five years I did nothing to find answers to my pain. I simply lived with it. In 1990 I went to see a new chiropractor who suggested a private clinic. The clinic then suggested further testing at a major hospital. At the end of 1990 I had a full body bone scan along with various blood tests. On my 27th birthday I was diagnosed with AS and bone cancer. I just swallowed hard and hoped for the best. I had surgery to rid myself of the cancer. I still had an uphill battle with the AS. By 1992 I was no longer able to work or drive. I struggled to walk and at times was not able to. I was given a walker, wheelchair and hospital bed. My children were now 8 and 7. My fear felt toxic. As the years went by the AS fused my rib cage and chest cavity. I cannot fully expand my lungs thus giving me severe restrictive lung disease. My posture is such that shoulders stick out about 8 inches from the wall. My neck is fully fused. I went from 5’9″ to 5’6″ and weigh 110 lbs. In 2013 I was given new medications that allowed me to walk freely. I no longer rely on medical equipment and do sleep in a regular bed. I am backing doing my large sculptural art and hope to have an exhibit in the coming months. I fully realize the combined struggles of AS and single parenting. It was my  children all those years ago giving me the strength to fight and fight hard!! I still have some very rough days but I’m putting one foot in front of the other. I also live with a smile on my face because I get to hear my grandchildren call me Papa.

Minnesota, United States of America


6 Responses to “A.S. Face 1569: Patrick Svoboda Sr.”

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

  2. You are very welcome Cookie

  3. What was the drug, I am desperate for a medical miracle, Indocin was my best drug, now I can no longer use it , caused kidney failure, and now I have stage 3 kidney disease. My story is so complicated, but at this point any change to stand up straight would be so wonderful.

  4. Remicade injections, Mexotrexate, Gabapentin

  5. Welcome from face 40

  6. I’m so sorry to hear that, Patrick. We can all definitely relate. My neck is completely fused, too. My entire spine is also fused, along with my ribcage and other parts. So I really empathize with you. Keep staying strong.

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