A.S. Face 0081: A.K.
I am 30, but have been having symptoms since getting pregnant in 2010. As I learn more, it seems that there are several “injuries” in youth that could have been AS lurking.
During my pregnancy I was told my severe pain was sciatica. I also developed extreme edema and vitiligo. Once my daughter was born I could never get enough sleep, yes I had a baby, but I was exhausted through the bone. I went to the doctor but was told, you need to lose weight. After losing 60 pounds, unintentionally, due to fatigue and maldigestion, the doctor took notice. I was sent for several test, and all inflammatory markers were high. I finally got in to see a rheumy.
I first saw her after high doses of steroids, so she and I thought I was fine. 5 weeks later, everything came back with a vengeance.
I was diagnosed in March 2013 with spondyloarthropathy, with the thought that it was AS but caught very early. ( signs of fusing in the SI- NOT SCIATICA)
I was always very active, played soccer, ran and cycled in races, was a personal trainer and yoga instructor before all this started, so when I was hit very hard and was unable to get off the couch let alone think of racing or playing sports, I thought there was no hope to ever being my “old” self.
I had support from my family and eventually and through persistence found hope and treatment.
After several appointments, my rheumy made a statement that blew me away, ” Well, the goal is to get you back to your normal, regular activity”. This might seem minor, but for her to set the goal of getting me back to my regular activity, knowing I had once had a dream to run a marathon, meant she believed that it was possible which was life changing for me.
I ran my first marathon 7 months after being diagnosed.
I started biologics in May 2013 and never looked back. It gave me my life back. I could lift my child again. I could walk outside with her and hug my husband. I was able to be active again and regain myself.
I still have ups and downs. I try to stay very positive, and respect my body, but yes, I still have bad days. I am healing, learning and also educating everyone I meet.
I am currently training for a Triathlon, my goal is an Ironman.
Rhode Island, United States of America