A.S. Face 0564: Erin
I live in Brisbane, Australia. I’m a psychologist and a runner. I love my work and I’m really lucky that my symptoms aren’t too severe at the moment. I’ve had pain in my hips since childhood. I noticed new pain in my ribs and a burning in my sternum 2 years ago (I’m now in my 30’s). It only took a matter of months to diagnose (a few blood tests and CT scans, a family history [my gran has RA], and some trials of medication). My AS went undiagnosed mostly because of me. I thought the pain was normal, or just a quirk of my body. Even after being diagnosed, I completely misunderstood how serious my first uveitis was. I now have some minor but permanent damage to one eye – I’ll be sure to get my eyes check out straight away next time! My sternum is also partially eroded. The take home message for me is to be really on top of my health and seek help sooner. I really got into running at the same time the diagnosis was taking shape and now I’m so grateful to be healthy and strong. Even though I get pain and flare ups, I’m healthier than a lot of people I know. I know I’m very lucky to be able to run and stay active; I think exercise makes everything much easier to deal with.