After 5 months of ongoing doctors appointments with Neurologist and general doctors they couldn't find anything wrong and classified it as Fibromyalgia. I thought it was a garbage diagnosis so I hit Facebook and asked all my friends for the best doctor where I lived that knew how to handle Fibromyalgia. Well I got the same name back by many folks. So I called and setup an appointment with a Rheumatologists and he quickly diagnosed it as Spondylitis and started treating it with anti-inflammatories like Celebrex and muscle relaxers. From there the diagnosis progressed to Ankylosing Spondylitis.
Ankylosing Spondylitis is a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disease that attacks the soft tissue in the spine, but can also cause pain and stiffness in other areas of the body, like your shoulder blades, hips, and feet. Its name may be hard to remember, but the pain it causes definitely isn’t.
Haven’t heard of it? You’re not alone. Part of the reason is that AS is tough to diagnose. There’s no one definitive test to diagnose AS, and It’s often confused with mechanical back pain—the kind caused by injury or physical strain.
Who gets AS? AS may be more common than was once thought. Studies show it affects an estimated 1 out of every 200 adults in the US, which comes out to about 1.1 million Americans with AS. That’s pretty close to another inflammatory joint disease you may have heard of—rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA affects 1.3 million people in the US.
Unlike other forms of arthritis, AS usually affects young adults; symptoms tend to start between 20 and 30 years of age.
So with all that said waking up in the morning is hell and it takes forever to get my back, shoulders, neck, and ribs limber enough to get going. It is so bad some mornings that I feel like I am short of breathe for several hours due to how tight the muscles are. As the day goes on I feel a little better but the pain never goes away and by the end of the day I feel like hell all over again.
After speaking to the doctor again she said that the best thing I could do is soak in a therapy or hot tub for 20 minutes in the morning and once before bed. Not one of those 8 person tubs that you commonly see. This is made for a single person for therapy reasons.
My wife and I just had our newest addition to our family a baby boy named Keegan. Truthfully we are pouring money out to the hospitals and doctors offices faster than we can make it due to all of the medical bills and office visits that insurance doesn’t cover or at least not enough. So I cannot afford the tub that I need to help me feel better. So I am asking for any funding that you are willing to give to help me feel better so I can be a better husband, father, and can keep working my two jobs.
Here is the website on Anklosing Spondylitis if you want to read more.