A.S. Face 0234: Danielle Henkel

I am the face of AS.  My journey with chronic pain started at the ripe young age of 15.  Paying attention to my classes became increasingly difficult as the pain with sitting grew.  I saw several doctors over the years, but was dismissed time after time.  One particularly unprofessional spine doctor told me that I needed a psychological evaluation for munchausen syndrome because I complained of pain just for attention.  That was 5 years ago.  My imaging studies were normal despite incomprehensible pain as recently as last year.  It takes 8-10 years for any changes in the SI joint to begin to show signs of arthritis.  Last month I was diagnosed with “impressive” SI joint arthritis.  Now at 32 years old I have moderate to severe SI joint arthritis, scoliosis, and arthritis in several joints.  Don’t let any one dismiss you…you know YOUR body.  If my doctors had listened to me just 1 yr ago the damage to my joints could be slowed down or stopped.

I am the face of AS.  ~Danielle Henkel

Pennsylvania United States of America

5 Responses to “A.S. Face 0234: Danielle Henkel”

  1. Dear Danielle,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I hope that you will educate, advocate, ask questions and demand answers. Do you best to stay active and stretch. Know that we are all here for each other always.
    Sincerely Cookie

  2. Yes Danielle, it takes years to get a diagnoses. My pain continued for over 10yrs before my destruction showed up on bone scan. Know that your not alone and we are all here to support you, =) xxoo

  3. I agree about ” listening to our body”, I really wish the medical community would listen to us.

    Thank you for your courage!

  4. You are a strong woman. Never take no for an answer. ❤


  5. Danielle: Great posting–so glad you didn’t listen to that arrogant doctor who told you that you had Munchausen Syndrome! I am so glad to be a part of this group, and glad you are, too!

    Stephania #445

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