A.S. Face 1691: Joy Frank
Here I am with my Bernese Mountain Dog, Frankie Frank. Swimming for therapy. He has bi-lateral hip & elbow dysplasia and arthritis. I have Ankylosing Spondylitis, and here is my story…..
I had neck pain for many years, then one day a few years ago I was at the gym on the treadmill and I felt awful pain in my right SI joint. I thought at first I pulled something, but the pain in my SI joint persisted and never went away from that day forward. I tried everything to figure it out and make it better. I went to PT three different years. I went to a few doctors. All of them said “strengthen your core”. I even drove a few hours to an appointment at the Hershey Spine Center in Hershey, PA. Even that appointment was useless. The PA wouldn’t order any tests and just said, “insurance companies don’t like to pay for tests”. I told the PA that my SI pain so was bad that I was wearing an SI belt to help relieve the pain. That was a wasted trip! So much for a Spine Center. Finally one day my good friend, Lori, told me I should see her rheumatologist, Dr. Fred Murphy. So, I made an appointment and waited a few months to see him. He ran all sorts of tests that day – blood work, X-rays, and an MRI of my SI joint. I was called back within two weeks and he told me “you have Ankylosing Spondylitis”. I said, “what is that – I never heard of it – pronounce it again, please”. This was late February 2016. Since then, I’ve learned a lot about A.S. I’m still in a lot of pain and working with my doctor to get the right combination of medications. I have really bad days when I try to do housework and clean. Afterwards, I’m in awful pain for a few days! I always enjoyed going to the gym and I haven’t been there recently. I hope soon I can get back there. I’m so tired of my SI joint being in terrible pain. Thanks for giving me a face and I send love and hugs to my fellow A.S. Friends!
Pennsylvania, United States of America