Wednesday Walker Spotlight – Gail Wright

Wednesday Walker Spotlight – by Chris Scott & Gail Wright
Happy Wednesday everyone!! What a bunch of steppers!! The numbers I’ve seen rolling in are amazing!! We have almost walked around the world in a little over a week.. That was our goal for the entire walk just a few short years ago. You are all incredible!! Please share your story with us!
Here is one of our incredible steppers! I’d like you all to meet Gail Wright, from Team Walking Tall and Wright.  This is her story…
“I’ve always been pretty athletic. Grew up going to summer camp and participating in everything! Horseback riding, tennis, gymnastics, water skiing etc. Fast forward to adulthood…… After gaining a bunch of weight I joined Weight Watchers and lost the added pounds. With the renewed health- I began running. As I started adding some serious distance every so often I’d be like, “huh… my lower back really hurts.”. I’d buy new running shoes, see my Chiro and get better. I continued my involvement in a variety of sports including biking.
Once again I can’t leave well enough alone and have to continue to bash up my left shoulder that I had been abusing since I was 14 ( starting with a gymnastics injury)
I was at the point where I was doing physical challenges…. climbing mountains, hiking 26 miles etc. at 44 I took myself on a half marathon run for my birthday for fun!
Well the back and shoulder pain increased. When your back hurts- you go see an Orthopedic Surgeon right? My Chiro actually recommended I see the orthopedic. 2 herniated discs in my neck.
June of 11 I had fusion surgery.
Still tons of pain in the shoulder.
Nov of 11, shoulder surgery
The PT was like, uh….there’s more going on here but I don’t know what it is.
After too many doctors, too much surgery and too much pain- i decided i needed a break from doctors.
When I stopped exercising for a year to recover from surgery….the weight started creeping back on. I couldn’t take it and sought out a way to exercise again. I found an amazing gym and fought through lots and lots of pain. Spent the past year getting back into pretty amazing shape.
Then….. this September I ran a 5k on Labor Day. A 5 k is a walk in the park for me. I came home and was like wow… my lower back hurts. Wonder if I need new shoes.
Got new running shoes and rested for a couple of days. Still pain.
What does a nut job like me do…. run another 5k the following Week. I actually took a minute off my time…. but boy oh boy was my back ever hurting. At this point I went from working out pretty intensely 7 days a week to not being able to stand up.
After being in this much pain for a couple of weeks I broke down and went back to my Chiro. Since I have a fusion- he wanted me to see my orthopedic surgeon.
Back to the ortho I went. He assured me the neck was fine. Put me on steroids. I felt great…. for a week
Steroids finish…. back to miserable. at this point I’m back with my Chiro and the PT
I was feeling like ok… I’m good to go and get back to my crazy workouts.
Dec 21 I came down with the most intense pain I’ve ever had in my life! I was convinced I was either having a heart attack or suddenly had breast cancer and was going to die like tomorrow.
I literally couldn’t breathe move or lay down. The PT tried to help me……
After a week of sleeping sitting up in a chair I was at wits end. Was about to go to the ER. End up back at the orthopedic…. puts me on more steroids. They helped. for a few days.
I finally end up at my internist to rule out every bad thing you can imagine…He put me on more steroids, lyrica and meloxicam. and I finally was able to get out of the chair for the first time in 2 weeks.
Meanwhile my family and the PT is saying- go see a Rhuemy.
My cousin is a Rhuemy in Florida ( I’m in Illinois. He gets me in to an AMAZING rhemy. To make this long story shorter….. she takes one look at me and says, “I know what your deal is….but let me run the blood test”
Blood test comes back positive for HLA-B27 ( or whatever that marker is)……. and bam I have answers!
I have been in pretty intense lower back pain…. but when the Rheumy said I could and should return to exercise I’ve been back at the gym without impact. My workouts have been pretty pathetic for my standards…..but at least I’m up and out of bed. ( yeah it’s pretty ugly most mornings)
HOWEVER: I started Humira a week ago today….. and today is the first morning I got out of bed without pain!
Started my Vitamin D and Fish Oil as well today….and it’s the first day in a LONG time that I haven’t needed a nap at 4:00!
I’m just so relieved to have a diagnosis and a plan of action. I’m so happy I found WYASO…. formed a team and this has given me a forum to talk about my diagnosis and garner the support of friends and family.”
If you would like to be a Wednesday walker Spotlight or have a team member with an interesting story to tell, Contact Chris Scott
ChrisScottChris Scott was diagnosed with Psoriatic Spondylitis in 1999 and he’s been waging a war on AS since. When Chris received the diagnosis, he went to work to find out everything he could about this AS & he works along side his Rheumatologist, hounding him about new drugs and therapies. AS finally forced Chris to leave his job as a Firefighter/Paramedic in 2009. Since that time, he’s come across many, many wonderful people and has had the pleasure of meeting several ASer’s at various AS Events around the Mid West and Canada. Chris writes our Wednesday Walker spotlight.

2 thoughts on “Wednesday Walker Spotlight – Gail Wright

  1. Pingback: Team Spotlight – Walking Tall and Wright | Walk Your A.S. Off

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