A.S. Face 0645: Gillian


I was diagnosed with AS at 28. After many smaller theories such as bursitis I woke up one morning unable to walk due to pain, shortly after being accepted into a Registered Nursing program. Every morning for a week was the same. I would crawl on my hands and knees to the bathroom and then by 11 am I was restored to my usual tolerable level of pain.

Ultimately, I was diagnosed with AS and the MRI showed multiple areas of inflammation and fusing over the years. Some areas do not inflame for years while others progress.  I married and on my honeymoon in Barbados became very ill. Upon returning to Toronto I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.  Interestingly this has been a blessing. I have learned through having Crohn’s that what I eat that affects my bowel and if I control that then the inflammation in my joints is much less.   Overall I have become a healthier person.

Unfortunately, for several years I was severely inflamed in the SI area and instead of progressing “North” the inflammation progressed towards and affected my pubic bone.  For 3 years going to the bathroom was an ordeal and one of the most painful experiences I have had. So no babies.

I have learned to take each day and prioritize and live a peaceful life. Years of heavy meds have played heavily on my teeth and bones. But, happiness and contentment are like medicine and I am now at a better place than I have every been.


Gillian and Adam


6 Responses to “A.S. Face 0645: Gillian”

  1. Dear Gillian,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.
    Sincerely Cookie

  2. hi gillian,

    thankyou for sharing your story. i too had terrible pain and much stiffness when i walked around in the early days. just going down the road to the park was a challenge.

    i am taking humira now and hoping for the best.

    all the best to you, kind regards, matt

  3. Bravo Gillian! If you can’t change the way things are, then change the way you think about them.

  4. Welcome, Gillian. Face 40 (Elizabeth)

  5. Welcome Gillian! I am face # 0008 (Hedy Francois)

  6. Hi Gillian. I was touched & inspired by your story. I am so happy that you shared it with all of us. While, I feel terrible that you have both AS & Crohn’s, your attitude & grace are really beautiful. I’m very sorry, for all that you’ve been through, but you seem to be in a good place now. I know many others will read your story, & feel a great deal of hope & inspiration. I’m so happy that you found this wonderful website. There are so many kind, caring, & very supportive people here. I hope you find comfort & many friendships here, as I have. I truly admire your amazing attitude, it really warms my heart. Welcome to the Faces Family!!! 🙂
    Hugs & Hope, Lisa # 535

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