A.S. Face 0288: Christine Lowthian
My name is Christine Lowthian and I live in CT. I am 60 years old and I was finally diagnosed with AS last April due to a wonderful rheumatologist who believed my symptoms and didn’t “blow me off” as just “getting older” aches.
I grew up with a father who was from Scotland and believed that no matter how much you hurt you still got yourself up every day and went to work, school, etc. No complaining or whining. I think my AS started as far back as I can remember, at least in my late teens, early 20’s. I have been to every doctor imaginable except a Rheumatologist!! Back pain, shoulder pain, bad feet, fatigue my whole life, etc. When my hips started hurting out of the blue I decided to see a rheumatologist on my own. I am very, very lucky that my GP referred me to a great one.
I started with Humira but that gave me hives so I am now on Enbrel. I have been on it for 6 weeks and it doesn’t seem to be doing much so yesterday we did bloodwork and xrays and my doctor is talking about switching me. I am also on Celebrex.
I have also developed Crohns and have constant UTI’s and incontinence issues that I am trying to find a fix for with a Urologist. The first Urologist I saw didn’t believe there was any correlation but my rhumatologist is having me see a different urologist as he believes it is certainly related.
Just like everyone else I have my good days and bad. I do water Tai Chi which I love and I go to work everyday. After reading some peoples stories I consider myself very fortunate that I am not as disabled as others. My heart goes out to all who are in so much pain.
I am hoping my son doesn’t inherit this nasty disease but he will be tested for the marker next time he has bloodwork done. Knock on wood so far he is fine.
Thank you Cookie for all you do. No one I know has ever heard of AS so I don’t discuss it with any of my friends or at work. I will be thrilled to wear your bracelet to have others become aware. If you ever decide to sell them I would love to buy some so my family and friends can help spread the word! —
Connecticut United States of America