Chris Fortier: The Husband of A.S. Face 209 Shelly Fortier

Who are the faces of AS?  My wife of 12 years is number 209, and I am proud!

I hurt my lower back the other day, and couldn’t move.  When I got home, hours later, I popped some Advil, and in an hour or so, it didn’t hurt sitting, only when I walked… In two hours, only if I twisted a certain way…

My wife deals with this pain all over, everyday… For how many years now?  Well, she was in the doctor’s office as a pre-teen, dealing with “back pain”.  The doctors can’t really tell how long she’s had AS… She wasn’t diagnosed until age 30…

All these years she’s been in constant pain, had all the accompanying symptoms that come along with it… She hasn’t been able to enjoy all the same things as “other people”. It’s limited her abilities, and that, in turn, has effected our home life.  It pained her so much when she couldn’t pick up the kids, or worse yet, even get off the couch some days…

I will never fully understand her pain, but the pain I had the other day kept me from being able to work to my full abilities, kept me from coming home and picking up our little ones when I got home… Poor me… She’s been pushing through it for countless years before she was finally diagnosed, and written out on disability.

She can now put all her energy into herself, and her family, and that has become another adjustment in our lives.  She is doing everything possible to make sure she does everything she can to enjoy everyday… with us included in that new life!  This is a good thing, but its been a challenge for me to adjust to…

It has been rough for me to accept my new wife… All of a sudden, things about myself, including my words and actions, that she put up with for so many years did not fit into her new take on life.  It has been hard to accept that I was a contributing factor to limiting her ability to enjoy life with her limitations… But I do accept it!

I am making the changes I need to, to fit into her happiness, and though it may seem like “troubled waters” I will continue to do so because I love when she is happy, I love to see her smile.

Could I go on and on?  Of course!  But can I do so without rambling?  Probably not!

My name is Chris Fortier.  Our children are Hailey, Austin, and Star.  We are Faces of Ankylosing Spondylitis!

Thank you, Chris Fortier


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