A.S. Face 0296: Carla Stephens
Hi! My name is Carla Stephens, I am 44 and I have AS. I was diagnosed in May 2011.
I realize now that my symptoms started in my early twenties. Out of the blue I developed horrible hip pain. It felt like someone had placed a knife blade inside my hip and any movement caused me pain. After x-rays I was told I had bursitis, given a cortisone shot & a prescription of ibuprofen. This pain would come and go throughout the years.
Sometime in my early thirties I started having back pain. It felt like someone had placed another knife blade between my shoulder blades, deep breaths hurt, arm movements hurt and panic would set in at the onset of a sneeze.
Then along came the lower back pain. It would take me a long time to stand in an upright position after sitting for any length of time. This would be embarrassing at times, especially if I was around people who didn’t know me very well. It also hurt if I was on my feet for a long time. Shopping was painful & I loved to shop. My Dr. at the time said I had chronic back pain and told me to visit a chiropractor. My chiropractor told me my pain was probably from my scoliosis. (Which I never knew I had)
I met an awesome ARNP who did the blood work, x-rays, and found me a great rheumatologist. He was determined to get me some help, and he did.
The worst for me lately has been the pain in my neck & the overwhelming feeling of fatigue. Some days I have to try extra hard not to get too sad because of what I fear the future holds for me because of this disease. I already feel as though my shoulders are bowing forward.
But I try to remember I have been so blessed. I have a wonderful husband who struggles with his own osteoarthritis but still manages to take care of me and always keeps me smiling. I have two daughters who are beautiful both inside and out. I have been blessed with a happy/handsome grandson & a granddaughter on the way. I also have three step children and four step grandchildren who bring a lot of smiles my way. I have a very caring family. I am fortunate enough to still work fulltime and I have the best friends & co-workers ever!
I want to thank everyone who has shared their story on this site & thank you cookie for starting this, it helps to know others share this disease & know this pain
Williamsburg Kentucky United States of America