Brandon, my oldest, suffers from ankylosing spondylitis.
Ankylosing spondylitis is a long-term disease that causes inflammation of the joints between the spinal bones, and the joints between the spine and pelvis. It eventually causes the affected spinal bones to fuse together.
Ankylosing spondylitis is also a systemic disease, meaning it can affect other tissues throughout the body. Accordingly, it can cause inflammation in or injury to other joints away from the spine, as well as to other organs, such as the eyes, heart, lungs, and kidneys.
He has already lost almost all mobility in his shoulders. During a flare up, he has at times, developed such a pressure behind the eye ball it feels like they are being pushed out. His hands swell so much his joints turn white. All his joints hurt badly. It's so hard to see such a young man, especially when it's your child, go through this and not be able to do anything to help him.
His rheumatologist has put him on Methotrexate (a chemotherapy drug), which after several increases, seems to be helping with the pain. He also takes a folic acid supplement is taken in order to help suppress possible side effects.
He didn't escape the poor economy and was laid off, so therefore has no medical insurance. Luckily he has very understanding doctors. His primary care physician, who doesn't charge for his visits and his rheumatologist who gives him a break on lab costs.
Humira was brought up by his rheumo doctor as the next drug to try. It should help with the severe fatigue he experiences. The cost of this medication is $1600.00 per month. The doctor referred him to the Abbott Patient Assistance Foundation. After making sure he was eligible physically, he was accepted!
What a relief!!
Abbott will be delivering the medication free of charge!!
We are all so thankful to Abbott and all his doctors.
Fingers crossed these medication will help in his current condition and help prevent any further deteriorating.