A.S. Face 0381: Louise Ruel
My name is Louise Ruel and I am 38 years old. I have A.S. and this is my story. My favorite thing in the world is watching my kids play sports…I reflect to a magical time in my youth….around the same age as my 10-year-old daughter….I stayed back that year because I was always out of school “sick” or on crutches. Regardless I was very athletic….My knees would “give out” while I was running…and down I would go. My knees hurt…condramaplasia of the patela is what they found….odd is what the thought…fast forward through a 10 year period with 4 bouts of VERY RARE skin problems and achyness. Random autoimmune stuff they thought. My body reacted to EVERYTHING…My Sed rate was always high…and I even reacted to myself. It was age 20 that they told me I probably wouldn’t maintain a pregnancy…because my body was “attacking itself”. Still no diagnosis.
I met Paul in 1997, a year later we were riding horses and I was thrown onto a very frozen ground…I hurt my back and saw a ortho for backs…He told me that I had broken my “scotty dogs head off on of my vertebrea”….and that was unusual….my L5 showed some spondoloarthropathy….hmmmm. Off to a Rheumatologist who was my story-teller. Dr. Parker diagnosed me with AS in 1999. I was 26….so 16 years after my pains started at age 10. Through imaging studies he saw the fusing in my SI joints. He also treated me with many cortisine injection in the bottoms of my feet for enthesopathy, a disease of the tendon bone junction (where the tendon joins the bone)..That hurt a lot:-( Then came the pills, injections, and all other meds….
In 2001 I stopped all meds to have a child….I did get pregnant and carried to term…a pretty healthy baby girl with a small heart defect that got better on its own
with monitoring….she’s now 10 and I have a 7-year-old son too:-) They are my world….and VERY ACTIVE. Parenting has been a challenge year to year depending on how my AS is that year…or are the meds working…i have tried Enbral, Humaria, Sulfasalazne, methotrexate, simponi….you name it.
I stopped EVERYTHING in Oct.2011…against Dr. orders.I did it because I found I was getting just as much relief, if not more, from my chiropractor. In my case I need to keep everything from locking up…this helps me tremendously! I also fell in LOVE with Yoga!
No Meds….a little advil and I am able to be active, play softball…do yoga….play with my kids…ect, ect, ect
” Every day I live in pain, every day is a battle, and everyday I am aware that I have AS…. But AS will NEVER have me! Thank you for reading my story and being part of my journey. “
Connecticut United States of America