A.S. Face 0452: Jeania Smith
My name is Jeania Smith I am 27 years old and I have A.S. HLA-B27 positive for me the symptoms began as a teenager in Ohio , before I even graduated high school I was in the er with excruciating hip pain, I was chalked up to “growing” pains over n over, I married my high school sweetheart and he joined the navy and we were off to Illinois for his training etc, I was always in pain and more than once had to use a cane to get around much to my humiliation 18 years old using a cane. I was miserable for a really long time, then my daughter was born,and we quickly learned I was pregnant again, immediately after my son was born I had my worst flare ever.It was in my hips my rib cage breathing hurt, moving hurt I screamed awake from the pain. I had no idea what was going on I had become used to a certain amount of pain in my life but this was unbearable I could barely reach over to pick up my newborn son. I have seen doctor after doctor rhuemies and chiropractor, no one knew what was wrong, I had x-rays showing nothing blood work was always negative for the rheumatoid factors they were looking for. I was chalked up to being a pill hunter and a druggie. I cannot express how many times I have looked a skeptical doctor in the face while they told me I was to young to be experiencing this. YOU THINK?! I was officially diagnosed November 2011 after a cross-country move to Oregon and still flaring, the rhuemy gave me a sixteen part series of x-rays showing damage in my hips, he will only tell me there is minor damage, I’m currently on sulfasalazene and start embrel in a couple weeks because I failed the sulfazene. my children are my world and I’m still coping with being “diseased” coping with the fact that this is me, this isn’t who I wanted to be, I hate everything about this disease and everything it takes away, I have ok days and bad days and the pain makes me angry and grouchy and in a fog, I cannot wait for the day someone finds a cure, until then I intend to Stand Tall not only for myself but for my children.