I am Teri Sharp, @TeriJeanSharp. A happy wife of 16 years, mother to 5 lovely darlings savoring every moment as I learn new rhythms in life after being diagnosed with AS a little over one year ago.
I was diagnosed a little over a year ago. My disease became active 8 years ago. My doctors had a difficult time figuring out what was happening because my symptoms were so random and seemingly unconnected. Something was wrong tough, clearly. I was sent to a specialist, Dr. Rosenbaum, in Portland, OR. I felt so validated after my first meeting with him. Every single random medical issue I had experienced was accounted for. He explained why I had been such a challenging case to diagnose. My blood does not have the marker. That said, he diagnosed me with Spondylitis, Spondylo Arthritis, or Ankylosing Spondylitis. He explained how the tree diseases are similar yet that he feels based on my specific medical history that I have Ankylosing Spondylitis. He has seen others with this disease that do not have the marker. Also, he explained it is not as common in women of my age. It is a lonely journey. I was touched and so thankful to have found a place to connect with others who have this disease.
I found myself thankful to not feel quite so alone on this journey. So much of what others have shared resonates with me.
Central Oregon, United States of America