My name is Jesse Osborne. Im 26 years old and I have Ankylosing Spondylitis. I was diagnosed 8 days before my 26th birthday ( Happy Birthday to me..ugh!). I had been symptomatic for years prior to diagnosis. I had back surgery on Christmas Eve of 2013, 4 ½ months before my diagnosis because my doctors felt they had run out of options. After the surgery failed, I decided I couldn’t stand living in excruicating pain any longer that I needed help. I decided to see the family rheumatologist as RA runs rampant through my family. I told him my symptoms and after a dozen blood tests, xrays and an MRI of my SI joints, all of this on my first appointment. He handed me a intimidating packet on AS(which I had never heard of) and said “I believe this is what you have”. He asked to give him 2 weeks to look things over and come back in. I went to the next appointment figuring to hear that he didn’t know, just as every doctor before him had. I decided to go alone not knowing I would be receiving a devastating diagnosis. I went directly from the room of diagnosis to being swept to 3 different clinical trials for AS, I refused the clinical studies due to the fact that I would have to stop taking all pain relief. They set me up with Naproxen and Enbrel. I wasn’t feeling much relief and ended up hospitalized in August and was told the Naproxen had caused severe damage to my stomach and I would not be allowed NSAIDS any longer. I continued with Enbrel but had started having severe gastric issues, (they are now looking into UC or Crohns) My rheumatologist suggested im too sick to be currently on biologics and that when I get my stomach issues under control I would start on Remicade infusions. AS is currently wreaking havoc on my life. I have a cane at 26 (which is not very stylish), Im either constantly sleeping or not able to sleep from pain. I continue to work 42 hours a week and take care of my children, Stiles and Avery, because if I stop I know I’ll never start again. I refuse to let AS win, I may have AS but AS does not have me. I am a warrior and a face of Ankylosing Spondylitis. Stand Tall!
Pennsylvania, United States of America