A.S. Face 1329: Hollie Wilson
I’m Hollie, I’m 23 years old & I have Ankylosing Spondylitis. I had my first flare up when I was 18 and it took 4 years to get a diagnosis. I’m HLAB27 positive & was diagnosed by MRI after it didn’t show on x-ray. AS effects mainly my sacroiliac joints and lower back which can make walking painful. I’m a front line police officer and love my job so losing mobility is not an option for me! I do yoga 3-4 times a week and have found that this has greatly improved my mobility and flexibility since I was diagnosed a year ago. I still have bad days, but they’re more manageable now. The key is to keep moving, stay positive & don’t let it drag you down!
Here is something I wrote that I would like to share with you all, it will be in the next NASS newsletter:
I opened a door and felt a sharp twitch, My back felt so painful, what is this?
I went home from work to relax and unwind, Little did I know; this twitch was a sign.
A short while later I went to get up,
Only to find I’d seized up and was stuck.
I cried out in pain, it felt like something was breaking.
The pain was so intense, the sharpest type of aching.
I called for an ambulance, I didn’t know what else to do, I’d never experienced anything like this and I didn’t have a clue.
In the emergency department they checked my symptoms, Sciatica they told me, and sent me home feeling victim.
Two weeks went by and the pain was unbearable, Walking was agony and I was completely unable.
Then things got better and I was more mobile, I went back to work and things were as normal, I almost forgot about that time my body felt so awful.
Six months went by until I woke up one morning, The pain was so bad, my eyes were pouring.
Not again, how could this happen?
Was it something I did? Some kind of reaction?
Another trip to the doctor revealed nothing new, “Sciatica just happens, there’s nothing we can do.”
This was the cycle for four whole years, The excruciating pain and the frightened tears.
I can only describe it as a sharp pain in my back, Which makes me feel like it’s about to snap.
It would ruin my day and leave me bedridden, Like an old woman, my body was stricken.
After years of pain I’d had enough,
I went back to the doctors in a serious huff.
I demanded some answers, this couldn’t be normal, I was 22 years old and my life was godawful.
A few weeks later after blood tests and scans, I finally had the answer and my head fell in to my hands.
Ankylosing Spondylitis, what does this mean?
I searched online and regretted what I’d seen.
I felt afraid and alone, how could I go on?
Believing AS would see my mobility gone.
I found the NASS website and they put me at ease, It wasn’t as bad as it first had seemed.
I tried diets and exercise to see what worked for me, Yoga and Pilates are now my daily routine.
So here’s my message to all those in doubt, You CAN change your life with a little bit of help.
You’re not alone and it’s certainly not the end, There’s lots of help out there & lots of new friends.
Never stop moving, no matter how hard it gets, That is the key to beating AS.
England, United Kingdom, Europe