I am the face of AS. My journey with chronic pain started at the ripe young age of 15. Paying attention to my classes became increasingly difficult as the pain with sitting grew. I saw several doctors over the years, but was dismissed time after time. One particularly unprofessional spine doctor told me that I needed a psychological evaluation for munchausen syndrome because I complained of pain just for attention. That was 5 years ago. My imaging studies were normal despite incomprehensible pain as recently as last year. It takes 8-10 years for any changes in the SI joint to begin to show signs of arthritis. Last month I was diagnosed with “impressive” SI joint arthritis. Now at 32 years old I have moderate to severe SI joint arthritis, scoliosis, and arthritis in several joints. Don’t let any one dismiss you…you know YOUR body. If my doctors had listened to me just 1 yr ago the damage to my joints could be slowed down or stopped.
I am the face of AS. ~Danielle Henkel
Pennsylvania United States of America