Nicole Singleton

Face 1498

My pain started as a teenager. I was always told it was just arthritis (no X-ray or any other tests) and I started taking naproxen as suggested by a doctor. When I was 18 I was involved in an altercation. I was pushed down a steep flight of stairs and was kicked in my back and ribs when I was unconscious at the bottom of the steps. Unfortunately this is what it took to have someone take X-rays and MRI’s of my back. I was told I had a couple broken ribs, herniated discs and a little arthritis in my back while in the ER. My family doctor was not that concerned with the arthritis again and still wouldn’t suggest me to rheumatology. While at work I fell because my back went out and decided to see a chiropractor since my family doctor wouldn’t do anything. He did X-rays and showed me where the arthritis was and then treated me with massage and a tens unit. That worked great but I couldn’t keep affording to go back ( my insurance didn’t cover it.) I finally got a new family doctor who looked at previous X-rays and set me up with blood work ( did not test me for HLA-B27). My tests suggested ” lupus or some other autoimmune disease” FINALLY A RHEUMATOLOGY APPOINTMENT!! I was going to them for a few appointments, but then I lost my health insurance and couldn’t afford to see them anymore. At this point I had lost 2 jobs because of my pain, but finally found a job that I could do and be able to take a lot of breaks. I moved up in the company after many years with them and finally got my own stores meaning more desk work and less physical stuff. Yes I was in pain, but after living with it this long I just lived with it. Plus I really didn’t have time to go to the doctors because of the hours I put in at work. Most of my vacation/sick leave was used for other hospital stays for other issues.
In Aug 2013 I lost my job due to limitations my doctors gave me. Finally time to see doctors! I got a new appt with rheumatology and they did a whole bunch of tests ( MRI’s, X-rays and blood work) and that Aug I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, RSD, tumor on my spine and herniated discs. Finally a reason for all my pain and fatigue! I am still learning about this disease and finding things that comfort me. I have found support through groups that Cookie has set up and it’s helped so much!

Ohio, United States of America

One Response to “Nicole Singleton”

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

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