A.S. Face 1712: Jachelle Wood
Hello my name is Jachelle Wood I am 37 years old and have 4 kids. I was diagnosed last year shortly after my 4th child was born. I have lived in pain since I was 12 years old, been dismissed by doctors. I was told I had growing pains, then later in life fibromyalgia, but they always found high levels of unexplained inflammation in my blood test and just gave me steroids. By the time I was 30 I had given up on doctors and decided to live in pain, horrible pain. I dealt with the pain without complaining too much until my eye swelled so bad that I couldn’t see (uveitis). It was finally an ophthalmologist that diagnosed AS. It still amazes me that an eye doctor figured out what was wrong with me so quickly when medical doctors for years could not. After blood work and MRI it was confirmed. I have the HLA-B27 gene, I have varying degrees of narrowing space in my vertebrates, but most of my problems are constant swelling of all of my large joints and severe fatigue. Most days it hurts to walk, hurts to move, but I keep going for my children. I am currently only taking Celebrex for inflammation because I am nursing, and because biological scare me. Celebrex has been able to relieve the swelling enough to finally allow me to sleep through the night (when the baby allows) for the first time in 20 years.
I don’t know what the future with this disease holds for me. The pain is real, and while I look completely normal, some days I want to curl in a ball and cry, but I don’t. I think finally getting a diagnosis, finally realizing that the pain isn’t just in my head, has given me a lot of comfort. I pledge to keep moving, keep pushing on for my children. I just pray they do not inherit this horrible disease.
Texas, United States of America