Hi, my name is Patty Girdler. I was diagnosed with Crohns Disease in 1996. I have had a lot of flare-ups over the years and been on prednisone more than I can count. I had a lot more extraintestinal problems than abdominal problems. I have had low back pain for years and would mention it to different Drs. In the early 2000’s, my internist did one x-ray on my low back but did not see anything.
In 2011, I was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. I had had limited circulation in my right arm. I had a lot of weakness, cold hands, numbness, tingling…It was very difficult to get to the right Dr. to get diagnosed. Finally, ended up at a vascular surgeon who said my only option was to do vascular bypass through my right shoulder. Long recovery….Then, more than likely, from auto-immune issues, I ended up with an extreme case of frozen shoulder! After a lot of PT, my dr. said it is not going to get any better and said all we can do is have another surgery on that shoulder. After lots more PT, I recovered from that. A year later, I was diagnosed with TOS in my left shoulder. No surgery is scheduled at this point.
Fast Forward a few months, I started going to a new rheumatologist and he decided to do a lot of tests just to see where we stood. I do have osteoarthritis and enteropathic arthritis, but he came back with a new diagnosis…Ankylosing Spondylitis. I feel I have had it for years. No rheumy has ever really paid attention to my back pain. We have now put together that the TOS diagnosis is more than likely a result of the AS. My shoulders have started turning in causing my rib to pinch the artery. (The surgeon also removed my first rib). I have been told that my thoracic does not even move when I breathe. It is really hard to take a deep breath. I just started treatment with my first dose of Humira. I pray all goes well! I was highly allergic to Remicade that I had taken for my Crohns several years ago.
I am so blessed to have a wonderful support system in my family and friends. I try very hard to keep a sense of humor and stay positive! I do know that God gives me strength to have an optimistic attitude towards my health. I have been very thankful for this group. I have understood the struggles that others in this group have shared. I have learned so much from everyone and have gotten some great advice from some of the stories I read.
Tennessee, United States of America