A.S. Face 2207: Stephanie O’Connor

Hello, my name is Stephanie O’Connor. I have Anklyosing Spondylitis. I’m 51 and wasn’t diagnosed until I was in my 40’s. It started in my teens I figure. I suffered in my pain most of my life. I never saw Dr’s and when I did, I was dismissed. Later in life I started seeing Dr’s more frequently. Was referred to 3 Rheumatologists. First said ” you have Fibromyalgia go home theirs no treatment”. The 2nd ordered tests and saw all the abnormalities in blood work, x-rays, MRI’S. I was then sent to pain mgmt for pain relief and referred to another Rheumatologist with more experience. He then pretty promptly ordered his own tests and began me on Azathioprine and Remicade. It’s been a life changer!

I feel that it took so long to get a diagnosis due to the fact I’m a woman.

Many still think women don’t get AS!

I want to say NEVER give up. Finding a Dr experienced enough is really really tough.

Your not alone. 

Arkansas, United States of America

4 Responses to “A.S. Face 2207: Stephanie O’Connor”

  1. Dear Stephanie,
    Thank you for sharing your story with us.
    Sincerely Cookie

  2. You are welcome dear Stephanie.

  3. You are right my friend. I had issues at around 10yo. I didn’t find out what it was until I was about 28.
    I have a sister who has it also and took forever getting diagnosed. She had a Rheumatologist who happened to have AS. I started seeing him also. But there wasn’t much could be done my T spine is fused.
    Stay at it and keep moving and stretching. I think that’s what kept me going.
    Good Luck

  4. Welcome. Your story sounds very familiar to me. I am your neighbor to the West in OKC. 😊

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