A.S. Face 1409: Kristin
My name is Kristin and I am 45 years old. I was accidentally diagnosed with AS last year when I was in the hospital for stage 4 endometriosis (my ureter was obstructed). I was reading the CT scan results and thought ‘bilateral sacroiliitis’ must be a new term that was associated with my endometriosis. When I went in for a follow-up MRI, the results mentioned sacroiliitis again and ankylosing of my joints. My doctors never talked to me about is (perhaps they were focused only on the endometriosis) so I finally started to do my own research.
I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have back pain of some kind growing up. I guess I always thought it was a result of playing sports or holding a lot of tension in my upper back. My back issues became more of a problem when I was in college. There were days I couldn’t get out of bed and could only crawl. I saw chiropractors, osteopaths, and other medical doctors. I even had a doctor tell me once that I was just a woman in stress and needed to go home and relax. Even when I went to have the HLA B27 test, the doctor scoffed at me and said I didn’t have AS . . . because I could touch my toes! It turns out I have hyper mobility (not a good thing to have with AS) and am HLA B27 positive.
Although I have had chronic flares my entire adult life, I feel it really got worse when I underwent several surgeries last year for the endometriosis. My body couldn’t handle all of the stress. My husband was then diagnosed with RA (what are the chances we would both end up with such diseases??) and we decided to try the Paleo diet. We found a lot of relief from this way of eating and continue to try and find alternative ways to control inflammation.
Last week I was told I had iritis so I went to my acupuncturist (I’ve been going 1-2 times a month for the past year). When I went back for my check up, the iritis was gone. I am very thankful for alternative medicine and options but am considering cortisone shots for my hips.
I am on my feet all day (teacher) and am working on finding ways to be more kind to my body throughout the day, especially since sleeping is very difficult (going to look at Tempur-pedic beds).
I love The Faces of AS and hope that the word continues to spread!
Washington, United States of America