A.S. Face 0261: Jenni Kirschbaum

My name is Jennifer, my friends call me Jenni. I started noticing symptoms of my AS in 2002, after the birth of my second child. I hurt all the time, was exhausted, bad memory and especially my right hip felt out of the socket. My OB/GYN said it was post-part um depression and put me on anti-depressants. My hip and rest of my body hurt, everyone kept telling me, “well, with your hip hurting and the accommodating for that pain, of course your back, feet, neck, etc will hurt” I accepted this and hobbled on. I went to chiropractors, massage therapists, physical therapists, etc. Finally, after 6 years a Dr. finally “heard” me and ordered a MRI of my hip. The MRI came back and they immediately sent me to an orthopedic surgeon. I went to the appointment and was told very non-chalantly, since the degeneration is so bad your only option is to get a total hip replacement. I thought he had the wrong, patient, or chart, or both!! I was told I had “osteoarthritis” – no blood tests were done – they just willingly chalked up a 38-year old needed a total hip replacement with this generic diagnosis!! Which, at the time I accepted, moved on and thought “I am better now!!. or at least I was hoping, praying, that I was better!!. Three years later I am crying again in another Drs office. I was there with my son, who had strep throat. I asked the Dr. to test me as well, I had been feeling pretty sick too. He said, “Do you feel achy?” Thats when the tears literally started running down my face. ” Dr., I always feel achy. I always feel like I have the flu. But I just feel worse today than usual!” He looked at me stunned and compassionately and said, “You should not feel like this! We need to figure out why this is happening to you!” He sent me to a rhuematologist! Thank goodness. I finally found out in 2010 that I am not crazy and I had this auto immune disorder called Ankylosing Spondylitis. So, here I am. I am currently taking Enbrel and fighting everyday to maintain a normal, which is MY normal. I am not a typical mom – I do what I can, when I can and sometimes I have to say, “mommy cant do that today.”

Which breaks my heart. May we continue to grow as a community and support each other and all others that have this and any other invisible disability.

Idaho United States of America


9 Responses to “A.S. Face 0261: Jenni Kirschbaum”

  1. With the exception of the hip replacement I can relate. Even on the best meds out there, day to day is and most likely always will be a struggle. I could feel your emotion when you said you started to cry in the drs office…..I did that too. When you hurt so much for so long without answers it’s so overwhelming. I don’t think anyone but us that have been through it truly understand.

  2. Hi! Thanks for sharing your story. I bet your kids get 100% of you even when you can’t do everything that you want to. They have you emotionally and that is the most important thing! Pat yourself on the back (gently!) cuz you sound like an awesome person! Take care! Claudia

  3. Hi! Thanks for sharing your story.

  4. Dear Jenni,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. On the days that mommy can’t sometimes end up being the best memory of a lifetime. I make everything special by using silly plates, cups and making a big deal out of little things.. is funny when you ask my grandchildren their best memories it is usually from a day that Nanny can’t.
    Sincerely Cookie

  5. Hi Jenni!
    I need to get both my hips replaced. I haven’t been brave enough to do it yet. (and when I did finally get up the courage, it was put off because I didn’t get clearence from a dentist lol). Thank you for sharing your story.
    ((hugs))
    Marti
    (face 199)

  6. Dear Jenni, I look at your smiling face and can’t see your pain and THAT is the point, isn’t it? Your “handicap” is invisible. I’m just starting to understand what you deal with everyday. Your strength is beautiful and you will touch many people by sharing your story. Meanwhile, I’m prayerful a better solution/cure is available to all the people who suffer from AS. Keep strong.
    Love ()()()()() (rocking hugs)

  7. I love you Jenni!! Always know that you can pick up the phone any time day or night and I will be there for you!

  8. What lovely words describe you Jenni. You are such a beautiful person. Just this week I had lunch with your mom and asked about you. Gosh but I pray that as time passes more discovery about AS will lead you to more comfort. A dear person like you…. and so many others …. deservie that comfort and healing. God bless you, Jenni.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: