Major Life Change
by Burke Johnson
Hey there. I am a 27 year old male living with AS. I developed symptoms after struggling with Crohn's disease from 2002 until present.
I was diagnosed with AS in 2009, after becoming wheelchair bound from chronic lower back pain. I had a very good career in the concrete business as a foreman, making a nice salary and a good pension. The quick onset of the AS caused me to lose my job and consequently my house as well.
Since then I have been struggling just to make ends meet, and if it wasn't for my awesome wife I would probably be dead. I went through heavy doses of prednisone initially, and suffered from several very bad side effects.
I highly recommend that nobody take that drug unless its a life vs death situation. I was then prescribed Celebrex for the AS.
The problem with Celebrex is that it caused immediate flare ups and bleeding with my Crohn's. Also, the pain relief was no better than taking over the counter Advil or Tylenol.
I was prescribed Oxycontin as well for my pain, and obviously that created a lot problems for me.
Long story short, I got myself off that garbage and started exploring more alternative pain management. I live in Albert, Canada, where there are no doctors that advocate cannabis as having legitimate medical uses.
I traveled to British Columbia, and met with a Dr.Gooch (real name, yes) who assisted me in getting my medical marijuana card. Cannabis has greatly improved my pain and appetite, but it's a bandaid and not a solution.
Currently I am struggling with pain everyday and trying diet as an alternative. AS has literally ruined my life and took everything I love from me except my wife.
I have dark thoughts some days, especially the really painful days where I honestly would just like to die. I used to work out everyday, run, bike, box and skateboard.
I am the epitome of an active guy, I don't even have cable still to this day.
The Crohn's was manageable because it was mostly just pain, but the AS actually cripples me to where I can't even push through.
I wish someone could end my suffering.
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