A.S. Face 0281: Hannah Hoffman

Sometimes I close my eyes and I picture myself running. I visualize a green pasture with beautiful flowers and rolling hills and sunshine. When I open my eyes reality reminds me that I have AS and running….seems like just a dream.  But then I snap out of it and I remember that there is hope and that I should be thankful for modern medicine and a supportive circle of friends and family. I remember that there is God in all his glory in heaven smiling down on me with love and grace. I remind myself that there is no Ankylosing Spondylitis in heaven and that one day I will be pain free….FOREVER. I have just been diagnosed With AS at 23. My pain started at the age of 19 and I will never forget the first time I felt it. I remember walking to my car one day to go to class and a pain shot from my back to my knee and it literally knocked the breath out of me. Little did I know I would struggle so much trying to get a doctor to figure out my medical mystery for the next six years. The pain that was once just in my right side began to attack my left side. Before I knew it my knees were attacked then my hips and then my shoulders. Some days I feel like somebody has thrown me on the ground and kicked the life out of me. I am always tired and before my diagnosis I remember thinking….I cannot be this lazy…something has to be wrong with me. But I admire myself and I admire everyone who suffers with AS because we don’t give up….we fight. I tried everything from physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic manipulation, injections, prolotherapy, massage therapy, and I think my most extreme was a 21 day water only fast(please do not try that).  I cannot lie to you I am scared….but I am hopeful and I am glad I do not have to face this alone. There are 2 and a half million of us out there going through it together. I am starting Humira and I am hopeful…if this drug does not work I will try others. If none of these drugs work I am so determined I might just create my own drug. : )

I love you all and remember….GOD HAS YOUR BACK!

Raleigh North Carolina United States of America

9 Responses to “A.S. Face 0281: Hannah Hoffman”

  1. Hannah,

    I am 23 years old and have AS as well. I admire your courage and your strong faith in God: I think the suffering that this disease brings has brought me closer to Him and allowed me to submit to His will. He will see us through!! God bless!

  2. I’m speechless. You young people just lift my spirits.

  3. Dear Hannah,
    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I loved your positive attitude. If you need a guinne pig for your medical research call me!
    Remember from this day forward you are never alone.
    Sincerely Cookie

  4. I love you so much and I am so very proud of you. I am sorry you have to go through all this. But you are right, you are not alone. God is with you every painful movement. Just remember He is still a healing God!!!! And you know I’m your biggest fan and supporter and encourager. Love MOM

  5. I love you

  6. Thank you for the infectious positivity! Take care.

  7. Hannah: I am so proud of you. Your Mom and I talk about you everytime I get my hair done. I know you have been through so much. I have watched your journey and I am so thankful you now have a diagnosis, a good doctor, and you are trusting God. The Carters love you!

  8. Thank you for sharing your story and positive attitude Hannah. ❤

  9. Hannah,
    I hope you have found many answers aince your story was posted and that you have continued to find strength in all that is important to you. AS is a nasty disease but as you said- we fight. What else can we do? It’s exhausting every minute of every day but it is worth it!

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