A.S. Face 1354: Trisha
I am 33 years old from Camp Hill Pennsylvania.
I was diagnosed with AS about a year ago.
My name is Trisha. I am a 33 year old mama of 2 wonderfully compassionate children.
About 4 years ago i began my battle with an auto immune disease. I was working 50 hours a week to provide a roof over my childrens head while caring for a mentally disabled sister and my mother. I was 220lbs. I became depressed and beyond exhausted. But i continued pushing through. Quickly everything began falling apart. I could barely get out of bed. My weight had drastically dropped to 115lbs eithin 6 months. I couldnt concentrate let alone handle managing a store. Counting down drawers became impossible. Standing would send shooting pains through my spine. I began to forget what it was like to sleep. Then i met my fiance and he began pushing me to see my primary for testing. I had developed lumps in my underarms. The daubting tests began. Bain scans, xrays, blood tests, ekgs, you name it, i did it. Finally they diagnosed me with fibromyalgia and my autoimmune disease. I was then sent to a rheumatologist who started me on my medication regimen. I wasnt getting any better and the pain became worse. Then my surgeries began. I started with carpal tunnel release to remove a golfball sized cyst that was intertwined with my main artery. About 6 months later my reproductive system began to go haywire. I had endometriosis on my liver, kidneys, and intestines along with a cyst on my right ovary. They went in and removed the endometriosis in hopes that my back pain would be elivated. This continued three more times. But 3 weeks after the final surgery all the endo had returned 3 times fold. So i underwent a hysterectomy leaving just my right ovary. This didnt help with the pain so more xrays were done. This time they found severe deterioration of my lower spine, hips and tailbone. Which is affecting everything on my right side. Everything began to make sense now. Blood work was done my inflammation had gone from 5mm to 56mm in 3 months. This was when i was diasnosed eith AS and fibromyalgia just 3 wks after my hysterectomy. I hit a slump and just gave up. But i couldnt stay in that dark place bc my children needed me more than ever. My daughter developed severe asthma and was hospitalized twice. My son began showing signs of juvenile arthritis. My fiance was in a work related accident. I had to step up and be there for my family. I no longer work and no longer speak to my mother due to extreme verbal abuse and toxicity. Now i want to help people eith understanding and knowledge of this disease. I advocate for women who need help in being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I want to help people understand how AS truly can effect a person to their core.
While i am no longer in a slump i continue with medical issues. But i wont let it stop me and neither should anyone else. Theres always someone to talk to. I am here for anyone who needs support and guidance. I am grateful to be blessed with such amazing children and an incredible fiance who have held my hand through all of this mess. But remember there are people out there who do understand. And those are the faces of AS. Be strong and continue with your head high!
Pennsylvania, United States of America