A.S. Face 1252: Nancy Audette

Face 1252I’m Nancy Audette.  I am 60 and was diagnosed with AS in 2003.

I developed iritis one day in 2003 and my doctor asked if I had an auto-immune disease.  I said no. I searched it and saw how it was related to AS.  About a month later I started having breast pain and my hands hurt terribly.  Prior to this I had many, many pains in my hips, lower back, spine and basically my whole body. But the breasts and hands were new.

Gynecologist urged me to see GP for blood work.  Yep, have the gene, have the symptoms and MRI/X-rays showed fusing.  Then a few months later, my grandmother died and I found my grandfather’s death certificate.  AS was listed, not as a cause but part of his health issues.  Everything then made sense.

Since 2003, I have been on Enbrel, Methotrexate and Tzanidine.  I also have kidney disease, hypothyroidism, lots of gastro problems, scoliosis, kyphosis and IBS.  In spite of everything,  I do fairly well.  I am lucky to have a wonderful and aggressive rheumatologist.

I married for the second time in 2009.  He is the love of my life and I am so blessed to have met him.

Arizona, United States of America


2 Responses to “A.S. Face 1252: Nancy Audette”

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

  2. Thanks for your story. It amazes me how much women endure, pain wise, before a diagnosis. I suspect my grandfather suffered from AS with lots of fusion – could not stand erect and needed surgery to remove a good portion of his stomach because doctors couldn’t control his ulcers. I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis over 20 yrs ago and always suffered aches and pains and now have arthritis in my hands, feet & lumbar area and recently experiencing rib cage pain (and always had shoulder/neck discomfort) I have not been diagnosed w AS but all my symptoms & family history point to it but truthfully, terrified of biologics so not in a rush for a dx. What’s worse – tolerating the illness or playing Russian roulette with unknown side effects of long term use of the potent drugs? I exercise moderately, stay mobile, eat whole foods (no preservatives) and practice yoga which keeps pain at bay. I also limit sendentary lifestyle and changed work (no longer sit 8-10 hrs behind a computer) to PT retail work (making about 1/10 my previous earning potential) to keep moving! My 25 yr old daughter also have been complaining of shoulder & wrist pain but until my diagnosis is made don’t want her to get the run around from doctors – I see my rheumatologist in a few weeks – plan to push for a HLA-b27 test and if positive MRI scans – so far only an X-ray of my lumbar region has been done (showing osteoarthritis). Try yoga – can’t say enough good things about it increasing flexibility

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