My name is Pamela O’Hare and I live in the Pacific Northwest. I have Ankylosing Spondylitis and I am 54 years old.
My story started in 1986. I gave birth to my 3rd child earlier in the year. Dx’d with Ulcerative Colitis a little latter on in the year and by the end of the year Dx’d with A.S. I was on Sulpha for 4 years and went into spontaneous remission. I am very thankful that I was blessed with this remission to go on raising my children. Very little was known about A.S. then. I got a small brochure and was told little by my Dr. I assumed you had to have U.C. to have A.S. There were no personal computers to look things up then. To my surprise when I came out of remission at the age of about 50, I didn’t have a clue as to what was going on. I didn’t have Colitis anymore and went to see several Rheumatologist who threw every NSAID known to man at me to no avail. Pain started increasing and I felt real bone pain in my spine throughout and still no dx. Some primary care physicians wouldn’t take me after we moved to a new area due to pain issues. I felt like a pariah. I had been dx’d with Fibro about 5 years prior to that. This was something different! This was bone pain unlike Fibro that hurts in the muscles and every other soft tissue. I was desperate for relief from both by then. Again, I was blessed by my husbands office manager who had a pain pump. I ran to my first pain clinic and found relief. Found another Rheumatologist an hour and a half away. By this time I had seen the word Ankylosing Spondylitis on a Fibro message board and now had a computer. I flew to this new Rheumy and at first he was quite unbelieving. He didn’t take any M.R.I.s or x-rays. I saw my former back surgeon and had him take full M.R.I.s of my spine and there was the proof. He just recently took more. Rheumatologist then put me on a TNF blocker and when that one didn’t work he put me on another. Now I go for infusions. Still progressing fast. Nothing seems to stop this beast. I am completely disabled but not approved for disability yet. I fight Uveitis constantly and am currently fusing at the ribs and my neck is almost done fusing. My shoulder is involved now too. Still, very thankful for the time I had to raise my children. I feel like I have a Tiger and a Bear in my body and they are fighting all of the time.
With this new pain pump to rid me from the horrible bone pain of Ankylosing Spondylitis, I feel I have a new chance at life.
Washington, United States of America