A.S. Face 1895: Stephen Wilson

Face 1895Face 1895a

I am still unsure of the heredity part of AS as compared to the environmental aspect.

I lost touch with my mother when I was four and by the time we reconnected I was thirty-five.

I had been diagnosed with AS in 2004 when I was thirty-one.

My pain began in 1993 while I was serving in the Air-Force stationed at Edwards AFB in California. I went to sick call for pain in my lower back twice and was sent home with Motrin. It worked at first but as you know this was just the beginning.

By the time I got out in 1996 my pain was getting worse. As soon as I could find a job and get insurance (had a ninety day waiting period) I went to my Family doctor.

This was his opinion, my tail one never separated during childhood and wanted to perform surgery to cut my tailbone!

Thankfully I had a newborn and a new job so I declined. Unfortunately, the next thing I tried was a chiropractor. Bad move. I would go there in pain and leave with extreme pain.

It took eleven years of me going to all type of doctors, some because they could not find anything,  thought nothing was wrong with me. I even had a doctor use lasers on the inside of my ears for low back pain! Only once though let me say. Crazy!

On my way to the rheumatologist in 2004, I told my wife if he did not find something I was going to a psychiatrist! Lol

He found through blood work and x-rays what I had. I know he thought it weird when my wife and I broke out in smiles and laughter but after fighting an unknown opponent for so long it was such a relief just to know what I faced.

I tried Enbrel for about a year with little success then went to Remicade, jackpot! It has helped me so much. I still am not able to work, I receive SSDI and VA disability, but I can get out of bed and wipe my own butt! Lol

The invisible illness part is the hardest part of it. People can not see what is going on in the inside.

I just try to educate people whenever I can. You have to be your own advocate before others will.

I still get 800 ml of Remicade every six weeks and it’s still working after ten years.

My sacroiliac joints are fused and my lumbar region. The worst pain is when my ribs hurt. UGH!

Life is what you make it, there are so many worse off than me. I keep that in mind when the flares hit hard.

I am lucky, I have a great family.

A redheaded wife and two redheaded daughters. I know they will always stand by my side.

Alabama, United States of America

2 Responses to “A.S. Face 1895: Stephen Wilson”

  1. Dear Stephen,
    Thank you so much for being a part of my vision.
    Sincerely Cookie

  2. Steve is a former church member of mine. He is my friend and my Air Force brother in arms. Hang in there bro.

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