A.S. Face 0303: Danielle Dawson

I’m a 32 year old from Sydney, Australia with AS and Ulcerative Colitis. It all started roughly around 4 years ago a trip up to Cairns (Australia) and I came back with ridiculous pains in my shoulders, elbows, wrists and hands i had actually thought at first i was sleeping in a funny position  until My GP sent me to a Rheumatologist who first thought I had early stages of RA, that later proved to be wrong. 2 years later and still no answers and was onto my third rheumatologist who now is my angel. My back became that bad and my SI joints inflamed which would leave me crippled for a week, I had 2 lots of cortisone into the SI joints which only lasted a few weeks, I ached in every joint right down to my jaw, I had been on prednisone for the AS and for the Ulcerative Colitis for close to a year, my weight went thought the roof and I found myself depressed and still in pain, my life could no have gotten any lower at that point. My Rheumi had me on numerous meds which made me sick on a daily basis, the pain was still there every day from the time I got out of bed till the time I got into bed. I was a cripple getting out of bed in the morning and would be in tears even crying myself to sleep, at that point I felt like it would never end until Dec last year when my Rheumi introduced me to Humira. By the second injection I was almost pain free it was a miracle, my only obstacle was passing it through the govt as they funded it. 3 months later brings me here and 95% pain free (with chronic Tendonitis in both ankles) I’m back at the gym and besides a few niggles here and there I have my life and body back! Humira is my life saver! I guess the hardest part besides the chronic pain was peoples attitude was to get over it but little did they know how much it actually affects a person with AS and with the Ulcerative Colitis (inflammatory bowel disease) it was a double whammy for me. I think a lot of people need to be educated or at least have a brief understanding of this crippling disease that virtually came out of no where! I now am seeing my older sister go through it, the continuous pain and how much it drains you on a daily basis, she now understands what I went through even though hers isn’t anywhere near as bad as mine. What i have learnt from all of this is patience and appreciation, appreciation for my Rheumi and the patience which has finally gotten me to where I am today. Thank you for listening to my story.

Sydney Australia

9 Responses to “A.S. Face 0303: Danielle Dawson”

  1. i am 29 and i also have both AS AND UC havent met many people with both things wrong hope you stay feeling good

  2. Thanks for your Very optimistic story Danielle. Very hopefull for all. I have AS, my brother has UC, and we both had iritis!

  3. Danielle, Glad your story has hope which you can share with your sis. I too have UC & iritis, but since my AS went undiagnosed nearly 30 years, my immunity malfunctioned allowing brain cancer. The AS is more difficult; so you are right, girlie — so many don’t get it. Smile and fake it when you think you can’t.

    • Thanks Mat, the UC came first then the AS reared it’s ugly head. Not doing so well at the moment, spoke to my Rheumatologist she wants me back on prednisone to get the inflammation under control and looks like I’m changing from Humira.

    • Anna I’m really sorry to hear that….Very true though people think yeah it will go away….suck it up and get over it, it doesn’t work that way. My flare that started today has absolutely drained me.
      We may be a bit broken but we are strong inspirational people!!

  4. Dear Danielle,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I agree we need people to not only hear about Ankylosing Spondylitis but they need to “understand” it.

    Sincerely Cookie

    • Thank you Cookie for giving me the opportunity to voice my story. I have never been able to explain it as people simply don’t understand or have never heard of it and that I understand. We need to voice our stories more and more to give people a better understanding of this auto immune disease, quality of life is so important to me and I’m sure to alot of other people.

  5. Thanks for sharing your story! I too am on humira & it has been wonderful so far! I am glad you found some releif!!
    Carla (face 296)

  6. Thank you for sharing your story 🙂

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