Chicago Joe

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Hello everyone,

My name is Joe writing in from Chicago. I was diagnosed with AS 6 years ago at the age of 48, but was experiencing pain in the cervical section of my spine and left shoulder for about 3 years prior to that. The pain became so severe/unbearable that I was not really able to function at any level at all, and I really regret not seeking any medical help/relief sooner.

My GP suggested I see an orthopedist, who sent me to a spinal specialist, who sent me to an RA doctor who did the HLA B27 gene test and it came back positive. X-rays revealed that while I do have some fusion of my C1 thru C7 vertebrae, I still have a bit of motion left. My RA said I’ve probably have had AS since my late teens or so, but that I was also kinda’ fortunate that it did not manifest itself until my mid-40’s.

Because of the cost of my infusion treatments, I applied for SSD and surprisingly was accepted the first time around and started receiving my SSD money within 4 months after applying. From what I’ve read and heard from others, it looks like I got pretty lucky. Although, I attribute “my luck” to having a great RA doctor who provided excellent documentation detailing my illness.

I’ve been on a Remicade infusion treatment for about 5 years now and it has helped a lot, especially in regards to pain management. I also take 1- Aleve in the morning to supplement the Remicade. And while I still have an occasional “Flare-Up”, they are fewer than before and much more tolerable.

And finally, if there are any AS Warrior’s in the Chicagoland area, I would love to hear from you 🙂

Peace out…

Chicago Joe

Illinois, United States of America


One Response to “Chicago Joe”

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

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