A.S. Face 1538: Dana Baggett
Ankylosing Spondylitis has been a curse and also a blessing to me.
A.S. is a curse to me, because I know that this disease has no cure! It will be a life long battle of ups and downs. A roll coaster that I can never get off of, no matter how loud I scream. And you never know from one day to the next what your body will put you through. And that’s just the physical aspect of the disease, nevermind the psychological toll it takes. I fight ever minute of my life to try to stay positive. But the pain can be so overwhelming at times. And you feel so alone in this disease, because no one feels the pain you are experiencing.
A.S. has been a blessing to me, because I finally have an answer. After 12 YEARS of countless doctors, specialist, blood test, XRays, CT Scans and so on. NO ONE CAUGHT IT. Until I met this one amazing doctor. She took one look at me and said something is wrong and I will find the answer. It took three months of additional testing and referral to a rheumatologist and I finally had my answer: Ankylosing Spondylitis! Even though it’s taken me time to process what all this means for my future, I finally feel like I can get back to some type of normal life or at least a life that doesn’t consist of me always searching for an answer. I can say I’m now more present in my kids and husband’s life. I appreciate the time we have together. And I see it as a blessing that I’m able to get out of bed everyday.
The saddest part about this disease is how unfamiliar doctors still are with it. I still see specialist today that will literally dismiss my A.S. as possible cause of issues other than in my spine.
Ankylosing spondylitis not only attacks the spine. It also attacks surrounding joints, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and organs. I personally see Ankylosing spondylitis as a Full Body Inflammatory disease.
I am currently taking Humira Pen Injections 40mg twice monthly and daily dose of prednisone. I have tried methotrexate, steriod injection, steriod packs, NSAIDS, muscle relaxers. None have helped so far. I have been diagnosed with A.S., IBD, Pelvic Inflammatory Diease, Endometriosis, and IC of the bladder. I have sacraliliacist grade 4 on my right side. Subluxation throughout the cervical/thoracic/ lumbar spine, and Clay Shoveler’s fracture in thoracic spine.
Olive Branch, MS
30 years old; onset at age 17
Mississippi, United States of America