Pain Couldn’t Hold Me Back Forever

At the age of 27 years, I had dealt with more than enough pain for a lifetime. I suffered from lower back pain for a year before being referred to a doctor. Tests reported me positive for a special gene, which meant that I had ankylosing spondylitis. The disease had affected my spine so intensely that my movements were limited. An MRI scan showed inflammation in my sacroiliac joints, i.e., the joint between my pelvis and lower spine. The doctor told me that this was a life-long disease, and not medically “curable”.

My family members were heartbroken. I was too, but not more than I was scared. I had recently become the father of a beautiful baby girl. My wife and I had never experienced joy so pure, but we didn’t know it would be so short-lived. The pain made it difficult for me to do simple, everyday tasks. I couldn’t help my wife with our baby and had to miss out on the joys of being a new parent. I knew I couldn’t settle for a life like that. Pain was creating stress not just for me, but also my wife, who had to look after me in addition to our baby. I had to get better; with great determination, I started with the treatment regimen for my condition.

Initially, I was put on a combination therapy of sulphasalazine and aceclofenac. Later, I started receiving an etanercept injection every week. Within seven days, I started to see the positive results of my new treatment. My spinal pain reduced considerably. There were times when I couldn’t get out of bed because of my stiff back. After the treatment, at least the duration of morning stiffness in my back decreased, which allowed me to start my day on time. Tests showed a reduction of inflammation, thanks to my treatment.

After a month, my inflammation and back pain have virtually ceased to exist. Although there are still days when morning stiffness inconveniences me, I try to put the pain at the back of my mind. Life goes on with or without me, so I have to, too, with or without pain.

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