My name is Ana Lorrah, I am 45 years old and I was diagnosed about 3 years ago, but the pain has been with me most of my life. I have suffered with symptoms of pain in my back, neck, shoulders, hips and ankles for as long as I can remember (especially worse when I was pregnant. I also had alot of discomfort in my chest and abdomen which no doctor could really ever explain. I was always feeling tired and run down,like holding my body up was too much effort. Laying down or sitting was no better because I could not find a comfortable position, I was miserable! I wore contacts since I was 16 years old and started having trouble with pain and inflammation in my eyes, but the Opthamologist always said it was because of extended contact wear, gave me drops and sent me home. It took the pain getting so bad in my eye that I had to go to the hospitl emergency. I was refered to an eye surgeon who after an extensive exam sent me to see a nerologist and a rhumetologist…finally after 13 vials of blood, x-rays, and countless other tests, I was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis! my rhuemy started me on meloxicam at first, then added Humira (which took forever to get approved by my insurance), and Prednisone. I can honestly say that I thought it was a miracle when I started to live my everyday life “pain free”. I went on a diet and lost 85 pounds, I took up kick boxing and Zumba classes! For the first time I felt “ALIVE”. I maintain an active, healthy lifestyle as much as I can…even though I’ve had some set backs due to the progression of the disease, I continue to fight. I have Ankylosing Spondylitis, it does not have me!! Thank you for allowing me to share my AS story.
Pennsylvania United States of America