A.S. Face 1166: Paula Murphy

Face 11661166

My names Paula and I’m 31. I live in Brisbane, Australia a and I am a single mum to a wonderful 11 year old daughter. I’m a teacher currently studying my masters in special education. I was diagnosed with AS about 11 years ago but, like many of us, had suffered for years with chronic pain. In fact when I reflect I realise that I was getting lower back ache from the age of 11 but this was put down to a mild scoliosis (which has since been corrected after regular chiropractic visits). My chiropractor was the one who originally suggested I seek a diagnosis for AS. He was acutely aware of it as his brother is a sufferer. Of course my GP wasn’t interested in what a chiro said so this took a few years until blood tests, MRIs and a referral to a rheumatologist was organised. I have no family history of AS, however my grandmother has ulcerative colitis (another linked disease). She’s going strong still though at the ripe old age of 99 (and a half). My fear is that my daughter may develop this disease. Every ache and pain she mentions I become paranoid. Well, in August last year I begged my GP for a referral to Professor Matthew Brown who is a leading researcher in AS and runs clinics at the PA hospital in Brisbane. They have a strong team of AS professionals- from research nurses to AS trained physios. They have been a god send. I’m helping out with research and have since been put on humira which has, thankfully, changed my life. I’m pretty much pain free and was able to look at further study. There’s no way I could have done it before with the constant pain and fatigue. So I’m staying positive now and making the most of each day. And that’s my story 🙂

Kindest regards

Paula Murphy

Queensland, Australia

 


2 Responses to “A.S. Face 1166: Paula Murphy”

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

  2. Your story is so very similar to mine. Humira has changed my life too and despite the fact it can’t change all the damage that’s already been done the relief of the pain easing after so long is amazing. I worry about my children too and panic at every twinge they have. Let’s just hope we stay well and that they are lucky x

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