J. Thomas Little
My Name is J. Thomas Little
I always walked funny but the real problems started when I was 8. Teachers, students, doctors, even my dad thought I was just a complainer or faking. Most of you all dealt with that too.I always roll with the punches after realizing that I could not be a mechanic ( my dream since I was 10) at 19 on a whim I when to college for art (2006). My second year I had to drop out because of chest pains and just not able to keep up. That was probably the lowest point, leaving friends, social life, being on my own. The only time that I really felt sad and lost . so in the coming spring (2008) I cashed in my savings and with the help of my mom (dad didnt believe still) I built a Studio on the farm. I did not get diagnosed till 2010 when after doctor, family and friends said I should be on disability ( Turns out I was diagnosed at 18 with A.S. but the doctor never told me, my doctor, anybody). Pride and not wanting to feel like I gave up prevented me from inquiring prior. How ever it was when I first asked that question my Doctor was surprised I was not. So early 2010 I was diagnosed with A.S. Inflammatory and secondary osteo in my Hips and Knees from compensation for so many years. Things were rough with the medications. Humira which I looked so forward to caused severe allergic reactions, so did enbrel. The doctor said He could not do anything for me. He did offer to refer me to a Doctor who specialized in Spondylitis. That doctor put me on Remicade and has slowed up the rather recent rapid progression of the disease. I do have partial fusion of my spine, chest and neck (with in 4 months). I was an artist for several years how ever losing the use of my arm for several months (spine fusing). I did not want to sit down and paint. I started wood working and with the help of remicade I feel as though I am fighting back. I know I will never win but every morning I am ready to give it my all. I may be less mobile then when I was diagnosed, but I am striving and working as hard as I can to become independent. I live my bucket list now. Wood working has renewed my passion for life and enjoying every moment. It is helping me hold back the disease. I hope to build my own house and a larger shop to continue. These are big dreams but they are what keep me going.
This is really great thing your doing, we all appreciate it greatly.