A.S. Face 0118: Lesley Popovich

I was just diagnosed with AS this year, after suffering for 12 years with no name to put to this crippling disease. I am 26 years old. It feels good to finally know that it’s NOT all in my head, and that I am NOT alone. It’s tough to know that this will be a life-long struggle, but I try to continue doing the things I love, like riding horses, until I am no longer physically able to climb in the saddle…

– Lesley Popovich
British Columbia, Canada

7 Responses to “A.S. Face 0118: Lesley Popovich”

  1. Dear Lesley,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I hope that you will use our knowlegde to help you live a better quality of life than most of us (old timers) had. Educate. Ask questions. Demand Answers. Advocate for yourself. We are here if you need us.
    Sincerely Cookie

  2. Thank you for sharing your story! I am 29 and was just diagnosed last week, so I can totally relate to that sense of relief. Keep up that positive attitude!

  3. Thanks for sharing Lesley, love the pic of you and your horse. My horses definitely make things less horrible… the daily struggle is eased by spending time with them.

  4. Lesley, I am so glad that you are continuing to do things, despite AS! I am glad you can ride horses- they are truly wonderful creatures! You will be in my thoughts and prayers, I hope you can continue riding always!

  5. Lesley,
    Never give up. Keep riding your horses and spending as much time with them as possible. Horses were what got my aunt out of a wheelchair from years of suffering from Juvenile RA. I am now learning to ride a horse after having my neck fused last year.

  6. Lesley-I can relate to you in so many ways. After teen age lower back pain, being put in a corset so my back would not move, doctors thinking it was in my head, having iritis once, xrays, etc I was finally diagnosed at age 27!!!! I bet you were also very relieved to know what was causing your problems–yah I’m sure it wasn’t what you wanted to hear, but now that you know what you have you can focus on dealing with it. (Oh yeah–I know of so many women who’s back problems were dismissed due to “female issues”!!)

    I am now 59 and have dealt very well with my AS over the years. Here is the key: don’t get or stay at a desk job, stay away from watching TV, don’t sit and read books (get audio tapes), don’t sit or drive for long periods. Instead you need to walk, be active stay on your feet ,and swim, swim, swim, swim to keep you spine limber and toned!!!

    Everyones AS progresses a little different it seems, but your future is as bright as anyones. I bet you will end up like me–AS has NOT kept me from doing much in life, yeah some aches and pains, but you will find that being active is part of the cure. If you feel sorry for yourself and sit and do nothing you will probably spend a life in pain and end up with bamboo spine.

    Most people will probably never know you even have the disease!!

    Bright future for Lesley!!!!!


  7. Hi Lesley Popovich, you are so beautyfull ;-)!

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