A.S. Face 1763: Mindy
I was diagnosed last year, at the age of 46. I have had back problems for half of my life. Two years ago I had to start sleeping in a recliner due to not tolerating sleeping flat anymore. Then a year ago my body started swelling. Began with my right 3rd finger, then right 2nd toe. I thought I had gout. Seemed I had all of the symptoms, until my entire right hand started to swell and the joints were extremely painful, both feet were swollen and I could barely tolerate walking from the chair to the bathroom, and the left hand started to swell. My family doctor did some blood work and I was ANA+. He referred me to a rheumatologist, which took a few months to get into. The rheumatologist performed 14 more blood tests. HLA B27+. I was placed on several medications as he tried to find what would work best for me. I am down to three medications now. Cymbalta, Celebrex and Enbrel. I have a lot more good days than bad now! I am so very thankful I didn’t just give up, like I truly felt like many times. This disease is definitely not for the faint of heart! I have found a lot of strength and support by talking with other AS “brothers and sisters”. So many wonderful ideas to try, which I did try several until I really found what worked best for me.
Michigan, United States of America