I am Mo and I am 28 from the UK. I first had some pain when I was 17 and was on a camping trip. I thought it was just due to the hard ground but the pain never went away. My mum suffers from sciatica and as some of the symptoms were similar I thought it might be that. The doctors agreed and I was put on many different painkillers which did nothing or made me sick. At this point most of my pain was in my hips and legs.
About 2 years ago the pain got much worse. It spread to my whole back and neck. The worst pain would come when I lay down, a sort of crushing, stabbing around my midriff. I could only sleep for a few hours at a time without the pain waking me up. In the mornings I could barely move for the first few hours. As a lot of this new pain was around my middle they thought it might be a kidney infection. After a number of tests they decided to give me an MRI scan. By this time I was starting to think it maybe AS as it seemed to be the only thing that matched my symptoms from the research I had done online.
When the results came back they said it was indeed AS and a lot of damage had already been done. I then had to have a number of hospital appointments and tests to see if I was eligible to get Embrel on the NHS. There is only a certain amount of funding, so they can’t just give it to everyone who needs it. I have been on it for nearly a year now and have felt some really positive difference although I do still have pain. I have found I am more prone to infection and generally sickly but it is a trade I am willing to take.