A.S. Face 0595: Lisa Marsh
I am Lisa Marsh, and I was just diagnosed TODAY 9-5-12 with Ankylosing Spondilitis. I am a 37 year old wife and stay at home mom to a wonderful 5-yr old son. This diagnosis has come as a complete shock to me and my family, but I have been telling all of my specialists for the last 2 years that I know my body, and I knew something more serious was wrong with me.
Since June 2010, I have been diagnosed with 7 herniated discs from my c-spine down to my l-spine. I had to have an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion in March 2011 because two of the discs were pressing against my spinal cord. All of my chronic pain for the last two years has always been attributed to my herniations. I finally found an amazing pain management physician who actually listens to my when I talk about my pain, and he recommended last month that I should see a rheumatologist to find out if I have an underlying condition to explain my severe pain and debilitating fatigue.
I saw the rheumatologist on August 6, 2012 and he was almost positive that I had lupus based on my symptoms and physical examination. He did a ton of labwork on me, and today was my follow up appointment for the results. He was in shock that I did not have lupus, but that I had AS instead. He is an excellent doctor, and spent about 30 minutes with me today. He explained in detail what AS is, what I can expect, that there is no cure, how to manage my pain, he explained it all.
I was devastated by this diagnosis, but at the same time relief has set in that I finally have an answer to what is wrong with me. I was not going crazy, I knew something was wrong with my body, but all the specialists I saw never wanted to look past the injuries in my spine. I have the explanation why I hurt so bad all the time, why I am so fatigued every day, why I am always getting sick. I know that I am just getting started with this disease, and I know I need to have a positive attitude or else AS will win.
I have a very supportive husband, an amazing 5-yr old son who always loves to help his mommy when I need it, and the rest of my family that will help me any way they can. With their love and support behind me, I am going to make the changes I need to make in order to stand tall against AS.
Texas United States of America