Melissa

My name is Melissa and this is my Grandpa Fred. This picture was taken on his last Father’s Day here on earth. In this picture he had zero quality of life left. You see, since he was in high school his right hip had been fused, this was before AS was even a thing yet. More and more fusion occurred over the years from his neck to his spine and his ribs. On December 8, 2016 he fell in his home causing him to land flat on his back. The doctors said that his fusions in his spine basically shattered and were like shrapnel shot into his organs. The doctors were able to save his life, however, they had to put a rod all the way from his neck through his entire spine. This caused him to literally be fused from the top of his head to his right knee. No more turning his head, no more looking up at the sky, no more searching for the remote, what little quality of life he had was gone. During this entire struggle with my grandpa, what my family did not know was that I had developed Uveitis one day while driving home from work. That led to many specialist appointments, a new rheumatologist, MRI’s, a gastroenterologist, a colonoscopy, etc. I was diagnosed with Spondyloarthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Crohn’s Disease and Fibromyalgia all within a couple months time. I promised myself that my grandpa would never know that I was diagnosed with AS, it would have broken his heart to know that I was living with his monster. He would have blamed himself and inwouldnt do that to him. I kept all of this a secret from that entire side of my family until after my grandpa passed away less than a year after his fall. I was raised by my grandparents, talking about their deaths is so hard for me. But when I decided to share “My Face of AS,” I decided I could share two and tell two stories instead of one.

Michigan, United States of America


One Response to “Melissa”

  1. Dear Melissa,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.
    Sincerely Cookie

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