A.S. Face 0981: Cathy Saito

Face 981

My name is Cathy Saito and I live in New Jersey. I am not a doctor but I figured out what was wrong with me thanks to the efforts of people like Michael Smith (Spenser), Michael Rakosi and Cookie to raise AS awareness.

I am a 52 year old woman diagnosed with AS on August 20th , 2013 after decades of seeking a diagnosis. In this photograph, I am standing behind my beloved aunt who passed away before my diagnosis. I suspect she had undiagnosed AS and sometimes wonder whether she could have been helped if we had known about AS earlier. I was her primary caregiver in the end.

I became aware of Ankylosing Spondylitis as a result of the stand-up comedy shows produced by Michael Smith and Michael Rakosi at the Comic Strip Live in NYC to benefit and raise awareness of AS. As I read the symptoms of this disease for which my friends were hosting benefits, to my surprise, I realized I had many of the symptoms. After being  made aware of AS, one of the first places I looked to for information was your faces of AS website. Your site reinforced my hunch that I might have AS. It’s one thing to read a list of some AS symptoms, but reading firsthand accounts of people dealing with AS was like a light switch being turned on. So I sought out a wonderful rheumatologist experienced with AS, had blood work and new x-rays and an MRI and finally finally finally I had my diagnosis.

Now it is time to kick AS!!!!

New Jersey, United States of America

8 Responses to “A.S. Face 0981: Cathy Saito”

  1. Dear Cathy,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I have no words, to express the amazement I feel in knowing how you were able to finally come to your diagnosis. Please accept my sincerest condolences on the loss of your Aunt.
    Sincerely Cookie

  2. Welcome Cathy ❤

    Linney Face 399

  3. Welcome my new beautiful Sister of the beautiful faces of ankylosing spondylitis…my deepest condolences go out to your and your family. My prayers are with you always.

    Precious Rose face #770

  4. Thank you for sharing your story. I was diagnosed this past spring, also at the age of 52–so much older than many people. I now know that many aches and pains I’ve had over the years were from AS, but it wasn’t until this year that it has really started to make an impact on my abilities. I’ve been aware of AS for more than 10 years because I worked for a rheumatologist for a while, but I never suspected I might have it. (I have three ruptured disks so I have had back pain caused by that and it took a while for me to sort out that I have more than one type of back pain.)

    • Hi Martha!

      Nice to meet another recently diagnosed 52 year old. It was such a relief to finally get a diagnosis. I guess better late than never.
      Glad to know you.
      -Cathy Saito

  5. Many thanks to everyone for the warm welcome.

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