A.S. Face 0512: Amanda Unrein

My name is Amanda. I’m 34 years old and was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis in October 2008. Since then it has been an adventure to say the least. When I first found out I was actually relieved. It answered years of unexplained pain and actually made me feel like I wasn’t crazy.  I had so many doctors through the years telling me my symptoms must have been in my head because they didn’t make sense in their eyes or what the medical books stated.  There were no visual signs or easy explanations of the pain I was going through so they would pass me off to the next doctor. I was constantly told the words so many AS patients have heard…”but you don’t look sick.” Like many people I never even heard of the disease until I was diagnosed.  To hear you have a disease that will only get worse and has no cure can be extremely overwhelming not only physically, but emotionally.  I felt very alone in the beginning and found that the multiple websites and support groups were vital to my own awareness of the disease.  My hope for you is that together, as a strong AS community, you will find comfort in knowing you are not alone

Georgia United States of America

5 Responses to “A.S. Face 0512: Amanda Unrein”

  1. Very well said

  2. Nicely done Amanda.

  3. It’s unfortunate so many have such similar stories. The medical community needs a better way to communicate their lack of knowledge. No patient should ever feel their symptoms are in their head!

  4. Welcome to our growing group, Amanda! Most of us have the same feeling of being overwhelmed with a disease that is progressive and for which there is no cure! I wish you all the best!


  5. Dear Amanda,
    Thank you for sharing your story with us. Couldn’t have said it better myself!
    Sincerely Cookie

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