A.S. Face 0256: Meloni Thompson

My name is Meloni Thompson, I am married to my high school sweet heart and I’m very lucky to have such a supportive man in my life!  We have 2 beautiful daughters, with amazing husbands and we love our GRANDS!
My AS story is like a lot of women who get misdiagnosed or dismissed–but for me it shouldn’t have been that quick of a dismissal.  I am HLA-B27 positive and have/had a younger brother who is/was and already had both hips replaced.  We all know that AS is hereditary.  When I left the doctor I was very upset and confused-as well as just feeling violated.  You know that comment…”It’s very rare in women”.  How could I be dismissed so quickly when ALL the signs are visible?!  He missed it and at that time, I didn’t know much about AS.  I learned quickly that I was the only advocate for ME! and I dug in to learn all I could for myself and my family.
I’m not sure when I first started having symptoms, but I do know that my 1st “arthritis-type” knee surgery was at 15 years old.  I’ve always suffered from migraines, joint pain and light sensitivity.  In 2006, I really started having trouble. I was suffering from severe lower back pain, swollen ankles, wrists and fingers.  My fingers and toes had the sausage look!  My ankles were actually so swollen and painful that walking was very difficult.   In 2009, I finally saw another rheumatologist who quickly diagnosed AS.  It was a moment of relief, fear and sadness.
Controlling my AS has been a challenge.  I sometimes think had I been given the correct diagnosis at the beginning this wouldn’t be the case. I stay on top of research and make sure I’m aware of the new medications that are available and have even suggested them!  Pretty much anything that is AS approved, I’ve been on!
I like to say that I have good days and bad days.  I know some AS’ers call them flares, but for me it’s good days and bad.  Saying a flare would mean that sometimes it’s gone…well, that’s not happened at all.  I wake daily with pain-just some days worse than others.
As for this disease being hereditary, I’ve mentioned my younger brother who is HLA-B27 positive and by the age of 24 already had both hips replaced.  My youngest daughter started having random joint pain  and we found out that she is HLA-B27 positive but currently showing no active AS (thank you, Lord).
I’m a face of AS and so is my family, but we will not let AS be in charge!  I’m continually learning more and more about my body, my AS, and this disease.  There is a need for more education and research.  There’s also a need for “correct information” or updated information so I will fight and share!  Yes, sometimes life with AS can be difficult, but I continually say;
 “AS has my body, but NOT me”!

Georgia United States of America

5 Responses to “A.S. Face 0256: Meloni Thompson”

  1. Thank you for sharing your journey!
    Much love,

  2. Dear Meloni,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I am so happy to see you here. I have enjoyed your writings so much.. You are always such a joy and inspiration to me.
    Sincerely Cookie

  3. Thank you for the bit about ‘flares’. I keep wondering how I can define when I have one and then used to get confused because its always there.

    And thank you for the positive energy:)

  4. Thanks for sharing your story. I say the same type thing “I have AS, but AS doesn’t have me.” Two out of three of our sons also have AS so I understand. Hang in there. Elizabeth Face #40

  5. Thanks for sharing your story Meloni 🙂

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