A.S. Face 0296: Carla Stephens

Carla 296

Hi! My name is Carla Stephens, I am 44 and I have AS. I was diagnosed in May 2011.

I realize now that my symptoms started in my early twenties. Out of the blue I developed horrible hip pain. It felt like someone had placed a knife blade inside my hip and any movement caused me pain. After x-rays I was told I had bursitis, given a cortisone shot & a prescription of ibuprofen. This pain would come and go throughout the years.

Sometime in my early thirties I started having back pain. It felt like someone had placed another knife blade between my shoulder blades, deep breaths hurt, arm movements hurt and panic would set in at the onset of a sneeze.

Then along came the lower back pain. It would take me a long time to stand in an upright position after sitting for any length of time. This would be embarrassing at times, especially if I was around people who didn’t know me very well. It also hurt if I was on my feet for a long time. Shopping was painful & I loved to shop. My Dr. at the time said I had chronic back pain and told me to visit a chiropractor. My chiropractor told me my pain was probably from my scoliosis. (Which I never knew I had)

I met an awesome ARNP who did the blood work, x-rays, and found me a great rheumatologist.  He was determined to get me some help, and he did.

The worst for me lately has been the pain in my neck & the overwhelming feeling of fatigue. Some days I have to try extra hard not to get too sad because of what I fear the future holds for me because of this disease. I already feel as though my shoulders are bowing forward.

But I try to remember I have been so blessed. I have a wonderful husband who struggles with his own osteoarthritis but still manages to take care of me and always keeps me smiling. I have two daughters who are beautiful both inside and out. I have been blessed with a happy/handsome grandson & a granddaughter on the way. I also have three step children and four step grandchildren who bring a lot of smiles my way.  I have a very caring family. I am fortunate enough to still work fulltime and I have the best friends & co-workers ever!

I want to thank everyone who has shared their story on this site & thank you cookie for starting this, it helps to know others share this disease & know this pain

Williamsburg Kentucky United States of America

13 Responses to “A.S. Face 0296: Carla Stephens”

  1. Thank you for sharing your story, Carla.
    ((face 199)

    • Thank you Marti for sharing your story also. It always helps to know someone really understands the pain!

  2. Dear Carla,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I agree the pain is like a knife stabbing you. I am so glad you have a wonderful support system in your family, makes life so much better. You are so welcome thank you so much for helping me fulfill my vision.
    Sincerely Cookie

    • Thank You Cookie for starting this project. It is such a blessing to read other peoples stories & know that others have this same disease, especially for those of us who had never heard the words Ankylosing Spondylitis before our own diagnosis. HUGS!

  3. Wow, your story is very similar to mine! Glad you finally got a diagnosis and that you have such great support. It helps so much to be surrounded by people who understand. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Thank you Kaite.It’s good to know others have been through the same things…. Sending genlle hugs your way!

  4. The more I read these “face stories,” the more it strikes me how similar the stories are. I remember the “stabbing pains”, which I don’t get anymore because of the medicine, but it’s frustrating that even with the medicine you’re never going to feel the same as before AS.Even so, I guess these stories can also be a reminder of what it was like without the medicine.

  5. I am having so much trouble “logging on”. I did the previous comment. Lets see if it works now!!!

    • Derek, I agree reading these stories and the simularitites are shocking to me, but somehow a little soothing. I am thankful for the meds & yes I know I will never feel the same as before AS & this makes me sad. But I always TRY to count my blessing and remember it could be worse…. Wishing you many Happy days..

  6. Welcome and thanks for sharing your story. I’ve discovered even at age 50, I can do more than I believed despite having had AS since my teens. There is always hope. Elizabeth face 40

  7. Wow that sounds like my story…. Welcome and thank you for sharing your story!! I am so glad that you have an excellent support system in friends and family, that is the most important thing in the world of AS.

    lots of love from Belgium!! Claudia

    • Thanks Claudia, it’s amazing how simular alot of our stories are! Sending love your way also!!

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