A.S. Face 1802: Kim Rogers

Face 1802

My name is Kim Rogers. I live in Gympie, Queensland, Australia and I was diagnosed with AS in January 2016 at the age of 48.

I am a wife and mother to an active 10 year old boy, and work full time as a project officer in water resource management.

My passion in life, besides my family, has been playing sport – especially field hockey. I started playing when I was five years old, and still played until shortly before I was diagnosed.

At the age of 19, I injured my lower back. Originally diagnosed with a strain, my back never got better, and I was eventually diagnosed with two prolapsed discs (L4, L5). I suffered with sciatica and constant pain in my back and legs, with several occasions where I had severe spasms requiring hospitalisation until 2006, when I fell pregnant with my son. During this time I had continued to play hockey, even though I lived on ibuprofen the whole time. Magically, my back pain disappeared while I was pregnant, and did not return once my son was born.

Following the birth of my son I had bursitis in my right hip. I went back to hockey and commenced a fitness and diet regime so that I could represent Gympie in the State Ladies Masters Championships, and just be healthier in myself. I lost 20 kg and was the fittest I had ever been. That year, I won every trophy available to me and Gympie were runners up in the State Championships. We went on to win the Championships the next two years in a row. That last year I really struggled with my body and was having a lot of trouble with my fitness. The following year, I struggled to play, suffering a lot more injuries and started to have a lot of pain in my feet. I was taking every supplement that I could to help reduce muscle tightness and body pain. Everything went downhill from here – bursitis, torn muscles, plantar fasciitis, dactylitis in my right big toe, tendonitis in my shoulder, elbow and wrists. I even started Pilates because it was too painful to walk or run.

I was still playing hockey, but it was difficult and in September 2015 I had a massive flare up in my right sacroiliac joint. I have lived with pain most of my life, but I have never had pain like that! Three weeks in extreme pain and throwing up every time I tried to take any drug to reduce my pain.

A few weeks after going back to work, another flare up in my left SI joint laid me up again, but this time I had prednisone and cut the length of time in extreme pain significantly. My osteopath was the first to identify the problem and recommend I ask my GP for a referral to a rheumatologist. It took 4 months to get to see him but he diagnosed AS straight away. My blood tests, MRI, history matched the markers in my body – psoriasis, dactylitis, bursitis etc. he told me that he believed that I had had AS all my adult life but had finally reached my pain threshold when it flared up SI joints. I agree. He put me onto Humira and I do not have flare ups while I’m continually medicated.

The first 12 months has been difficult and I have struggled to adjust to life where the simplest things are so very difficult. I have been grieving for the life I’ve lost and feeling guilty for the not being able to contribute to things the way I used to. I worry that my reduced fitness and mobility will shorten my life and I will not see my son grow up.

In addition to the AS, I still have two prolapsed discs and degenerated discs some with stenosis.

I am still learning my limitations and how to manage myself. I still pine to play hockey, mow the yard, garden, and go bushwalking. I dream of being pain free, something I haven’t been since I was 18. But I’m happy too. I now know what’s wrong with me, and there’s so many people out there just like me. I know that I’m very lucky in many ways that the AS did not get bad until my forties. I know that there are many people much worse than me. I have a husband and child who love me and look after me on my bad days, and give me a hard time on my good ones 😊. I wonder what my future holds and hope that my medication continues to work for me.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to tell my story.
Queensland, Australia


One Response to “A.S. Face 1802: Kim Rogers”

  1. Dear Kim,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.
    Sincerely Cookie

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