My name is Christine from Littleton Colorado.
My symptoms became noticeable enough to be concerned at age 17. I went to a doctor who prescribed me physical therapy and a constant, heavy dose of Vicodin for my condition for the better part of the year. My memory of that year is shotty because of the effects of so much Vicodin and I came out of the experience pregnant and trying desperately to overcome my new addiction to opiates. I lived in pain, the single mother of a newborn six more years after that until finally my new husband insisted we tackle to problem, no matter how long it took. I started off with an orthopedic surgeon who played “quarterback” after a few tests (SI injections, MRI’s, and bone density scans) send me to a different specialist.
The first rheumatologist I met asked a few general questions and dismissed me with a new prescription of muscle relaxers. Dead end. Horrible doctor. Shortly after I had a terrible episode that landed me in the hospital, frozen in pain. They did more MRI’s and found inflammation all over my spine. Their first reaction was to call infectious disease and perform a spinal tap. Once I was cleared of meningitis, I was sent to get a biopsy of my spinal column. I was cleared there too. My “quarterbacks last resort was to send me to the only specialist in Colorado who performs SI fusions, an hour an a half away. He looked at my charts and instructed I go to a rheumatologist. I was frustrated, defeated, and after being told to go back where I started, utterly hopeless. I burst into tears and explained I’d been there and all is been through since. He strongly urged I try another one, and if that failed, he would perform the procedure. The next rheumatologist I saw performed a simple blood test and diagnosed me within minutes. This was in 2010. I’m so happy to have such effective treatment. Now that it’s been identified and treated, I’m not the same person. Being able to hold my babies, walk up the stairs, SLEEP, has been life changing. Bad flare up days are still tough, but I’m glad I don’t have to live with the unknown anymore!
I look forward to keeping in touch with the community you’ve created with this site!
Colorado, United States of America