Spondylitis Association of America
Posted By: Guitarman New to message boards - 04/07/10 12:28 PM
Hi to all
I am kinda new to this posting thing but since I was diagnosed with A/S I have been a fan of this site. I have used the words of encouragment to help me through my feelings about my diagnosis. I have been a Detention Deputy for 18 years. Several years back I started suffering with severe neck and back pain and medical testing revealed no answers. I worked light duty for some time and even though my symptoms remained I forced the issue with my Doctor and returned to normal duty. I felt weak for not being there when my fellow officers gave the call for assistance. About a year ago I began getting more severe sympoms and started missing a lot of work. My Dr. Reffered me to a Rhumy and after blood work and other testing and x rays I was diagnosed with A/S. Pride and love for the job has made it hard for me to give in but I find that I cannot even be productive behind a desk and worry that I may not be able to defend myself let alone a fallen officer though I would try to the end. My agency has been supportive but I feel that is drawing to an end. I am not certain that they can just fire me or if that might be in my best intrest. I hate losing my career like this but feel that disability may be best since the pain is so rough to work through. I have the support of my rhumy and pain management but I just feel like nothing is helping me get back to work. Thanks for your time and any advice. I currently take Remicade, oxycodone, morphine and ambian for those long sleepless nights. I just want to have some kind of life with pain not being the deciding factor of what kind of man I am. Thank god I have a supportive family or I don't know what I would do.
Chuck
Posted By: Rach Re: New to message boards - 04/07/10 01:24 PM
Hi Chuck, and welcome.
Hey, nice to know we have a fan!
It sounds like the Remicade isn't doing what it should do for you. Have you discussed other treatment options with your rheumatologist??
And do everything you can for yourself too - e.g. if you would be able to manage better with better seating at work, or regular breaks, alternating moving around a sitting/standing perhaps, then work with you employer to find solutions.
Posted By: Spenser23 Re: New to message boards - 04/07/10 03:43 PM

Hi Chuck. Welcome.



Spenser23
Posted By: Guitarman Re: New to message boards - 04/07/10 03:56 PM
Hi Rach,
My Rheumatologist has been adjusting my Remicade and I do admit that I have had some relief over the last few months or so. He wants me to try Arava in conjunction with the Remicade which I have decided to do when I see him next month. The only problem I have had with Remicade is extreem nasua for several days after the infusion but I can live with it for a little relief. The seating and breaks at work haven't really been an issue with my employer and they have been good to me. The problems I have really had in regards to work has been the hours it takes me to be able to move in the mornings mean I get up 3 to 4 hours before I start my 12 hour shift and the sleepless nights. Hopefully the ambian will help me get better sleep. This has caused me to miss a lot of work and as everybody suffering with A/S knows the pain continues. My next step at work is a change to a lower paying position and maybe reduced hrs. But after that who knows. But I will drive on best I can, play my guitar and hold my beautiful wife cause that's what gives me peace. Everything else will fall where it may. God bless you all and thanks for letting me take up some space on the message board smile
Posted By: avonldy Re: New to message boards - 04/07/10 03:58 PM
Have you talked to the HR people where you work (perhaps through your union) to find out what your options are? They might have a disability program.

It does sound like the Remicade is not working very well. There are other biologic meds out there. Many here have found that they have to switch meds after a while. They don't all work that way. Welcome to the board. Don't hesitate to ask questions at any time. You will find that the people here are very supportive and caring.
Donna
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