A.S. Face 1978: Suzanne Evans

Face 1978Face 1978a

My name is Suzanne Evans, I’m a 45 y/o mother, wife, grandmother and Veteran (Afghanistan OEF 2011-2012, Combat Medic)
I was very athletic growing up, playing basketball, volleyball, track etc. I am tall, 5’11”. As I went through growth spurts in my early teens, I suffered growing pains in my legs…some times they felt so heavy I could barely run. Both of my knees would swell occasionally and I once had to get my Rt. Knee drained as it ballooned up huge. I’ve always had knees that would crunch when going up stairs (my childhood doctor told me I just had rough knee caps).

I had fainting spells starting in my late teens and they were attributed to low blood pressure and anemia. In my early 20’s I began to have strange heart palpitations that still come and go today.

In my late 20’s I got seriously into running and was training for the Hood-to-Coast relay. I woke up one morning couldn’t step on my left foot (fell to the ground). It was determined I had a pinched sciatic nerve. Physical therapy and chiropractic care.

In my mid 30’s I joined the Military as a combat Medic. Soon after training began, I ended up getting horrible swelling in both ankles. They were so big, I was required to lay in bed for a week with them elevated. From that time on, I began having swelling on a regular basis. Flying is the worst.
I also ended with a stress fracture in my left femoral neck, no fun.

After I completed training, I injured my lower back while doing PT. I went to physical therapy, but my back never got better and I just learned to live with the pain and medicated with ibuprofen.

While on tour in Afghanistan, I was very busy and I wore a full combat load of about 80lbs on my shoulder, pretty much every day for a year. After I came home, my neck, middle back, lower back were a complete mess. I also began having painful and tingling feeling in both my forearms, hands and wrists as well as pain going down both legs and a painful and tingling feeling in my shins and feet.

I had seen many doctors over the course of the past 10yrs (Military, Civilian and finally the VA). Finally, last year (2017) I ended up seeing an amazing Rheumatologist through the VA in my home state, and after running lab work, x-Ray and MRI…it was determined that I have AS (HLA B27 +) as well as fibromyalgia.

I am relieved to finally know what is wrong with me and now have a treatment plan in place. Humira and meloxicam, as well as regular yoga and ZERO alcohol. I was self medicating for yrs using alcohol.

I am a Warrior ❤️

Suzanne Evans

Oregon, Unites States of America

2 Responses to “A.S. Face 1978: Suzanne Evans”

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

  2. Welcome. Face 40 (Elizabeth)

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