Chris Porfilio

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My name is Christina Porfilio and this is my story.

I am 53 years old. I began having back issues when I was 20. I went to many doctors and was told my back was just in spasms or I had a pinched nerve.

In 2013, my doctor told me I had back pain because I needed a better bra. Ok. He agreed to do blood tests because I completely broke down and started crying. I told him that I don’t know what is wrong with me, but I know there is something more than a bad bra.

The bloodwork came back ANA positive so he sent me to a rheumatologist and a therapist (he said I was depressed) and to a pain mgmt doctor.

The rhuemy did more blood tests and said, you are ANA positive but don’t have enough symptoms for me to call it lupus, another doctor might but I won’t. She sent me on my way. Therapist sent me to cognitive therapy. And the pain mgmt specialist started sight injections in my back.

I lost my job about this time for missing too much work even though I was out on short term disability. So, I lost my insurance.

New insurance sent me back to the rhuemy but I saw a different one at the same office. He checked and said I had fibromyalgia, then sent me to a class for biofeedback.

My new primary care physician took mris and sent me to a new pain mgmt doctor. She couldn’t believe how bad neck looked and started epidurals in my neck. No relief.

In June of 2015, I tried to overdose. I thought I was insane because I wasn’t getting answers that made any sense to me. The pain was incredible and I was angry every morning that I woke up because I woke up.

The new pcp sent me back to the same rhuemy office and I saw a third doctor there. My first visit he spent over an hour with me. Sent me for more bloodwork and I was HLA-B27 positive. Mri showed inflammation of the si joint and in the neck. He told me I had ankylosing spondylitis. I had never heard those words before. He started me on biologics immediately. Things were finally making sense.

I am on my third biologic and have a medical team that I feel like listens to me for the first time in my life. There are days when I am still feeling betrayed by my body, but I’m not as angry at it as I once was.

Unfortunately, I’ve passed this horrible disease down to my beautiful daughter. I hate that.

California, United States of America

One Response to “Chris Porfilio”

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

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