My name is Laureen and I have Ankylosing Spondylitis. I was initially diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis in 2009, and after a bit of a runaround, finally correctly diagnosed with A.S. in January of 2010. Currently, my lumbar spine, hips, neck, ribs, and jaw go through flares, but thankfully, I have found relief from the pain using some TNF blockers and pain medication. Although this helps, it does not eliminate the underlying pain, daily struggles with movement, and the progression of the disease. Unfortunately, we are rendered powerless in that department! We will all go through this at different paces, and it’s difficult. However, I am extremely lucky to have an amazing support system around me in my fantastic husband, my understanding close friends, and my extraordinary family. Without their love and support over these last few years, I’m not sure where I would be! I have lost a few jobs due to the side effects, the adjustments, the pain and discomfort, etc. but I am doing my best to work around this and ensure that I can do something productive and be a functioning member of society. No one ever promised us that this life would be easy, and I firmly believe that we are not given more than we can handle in this world. Hopefully we all become more empathetic people to others’ pain, because we know how bad it can be.
Not all days are easy, that’s for sure, but at least we have communities like this to help us realize we are not alone! I do hope that one day a cure is found for many horrible diseases, including A.S. Thanks to Cookie for putting this site together to raise awareness. All the best to all of you, and thanks for taking the time to read this! *Laureen
Medway Massachusetts United States of America