A.S. Face 1771: Rachel Huard
My story officially begins in 2006, although I have had health problems my entire life. While in my Junior year of high school, my knees began to inexplicably swell. I went to several doctors and none of them could find a reason for it. The swelling got to the point that I could not walk without crutches. It was a terrible time for me to become sick because at 17, my parent’s health insurance dropped me. This was before the Affordable Care Act and parents’ insurance policies didn’t have to keep you on for an extended length of time. My first rheumatologist diagnosed me with Lupus, largely based on a positive ANA test. After two years of failed treatments and just becoming more ill, I convinced my PCP to refer me to a different rheumatologist. Within ten minutes of meeting me, this new doctor was convinced I have AS. He sent me home to do some research and decide how I would like to tackle this new beast of a disease. I decided to go as aggressive as possible, being only 19. We started a round of DMARDs and my first Biologic, Remicade. I was on Remicade for about two and a half years before it lost all efficacy. Since then I’ve been on pretty much every biologic on the market. I have now been on Cosentyx for a little over a year and to be honest, I feel like it’s fizzling out. When I see my doctor next I will ask to up the dosage. Having Ankylosing Spondylitis isn’t easy, but I’ve found ways to work with it and live my life as best I can. We truly are all warriors kicking AS.
New Hampshire, United States of America