When I was about
6 yrs old I woke up with a very stiff neck. After about three-day's my mother
became concerned because it didn't get better. She took me to the family
pediatrician, he said my neck was dislocated, I ended up in children's hospital
in Detroit with my neck in traction. After several days my knee swelled up then
the other, I started to run a fever. It only took a few weeks until the doctors
figured out what was going on. I was transferred to U of M Medical Center where
I've been treated most of my life. After trying many different drugs it seems as
if Prednisone was the only thing that worked. I probably took prednisone for
about ten years until my disease burnt out, then large amounts of Aspirin. Now I
alternate every few year from one Anti Inflammatory drug to another.
By the time I was
10 yrs old the disease had already did most of it's damage. I was confined to a
wheelchair unable to walk. It had damaged every joint of my body. I've had one
bad bought of paracarditis and probably many minor ongoing cases of it. I've had
kidney stones probably because of the medication. And most of the symptoms I
hear from other people in our group. You know those things that come and go that
make you think your crazy and the doctors can't explain.
Around the age of
23 I had surgery on my knees and ankle's, Resectioner Orthoplasty, or Sand and
Polish as Dr Herbert Kaufer (Professor and Chief of Orthopedic Surgery,
University of Kentucky) referred to it as. It along with therapy has enabled me
to walk again.
Today I work as a
computer programmer for the State of Michigan and I'm also actively involved in
running our family towing business, doing bookkeeping and keeping my brothers
from killing each other.
I've never been
married and have no children. Sometimes that depresses me. I've found that what
works best for me mentally, is to structure my days as much as possible and to
stay busy. I value my friends and I like to talk, but have to force myself to
write. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have found more
comfort and support from our Stills group then I ever have in my 33 years of
having this disease. I hope to make the time to be more actively involved in the
days to come.
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