A.S. Face 0311: Shona Cahill
My name is Shona. I have AS for 14 years now but was only diagnosed four years ago after ten years of unexplained excrutiating joint pain, erythema nodosum and endless doctors visits and hospitalisation. I became very ill in 2008 and experienced excruciating pain in every joint in my body and was left unable to do anything for myself. However, I was finally sent to the right rheumy and he was immediately able to diagnose me with AS by doing an MRI scan. I was taking copious amounts of steroids, NSAIDs and sulfasalazine none of which helped. As soon as I was diagnosed I was put on humira which has changed my life, while I still experience pain, mainly in my upper spine and alot of fatigue, I can live a normal life and have managed to travel the world…with my humira drugs in tow.
I never allow my illness to take control of my life and refuse to allow it to prevent me from doing all the things I want to in life. Sometimes, it takes all your energy just to keep going but the alternative is more grim.
Whenever my AS gets on top of me I think of a quote i stole from another ASer…”I cannot defeat you but I will not let you win”. It gets me through!!