A.S. Face 2243: Natalie G.

Hello! My name is Natalie and I have non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis. I was finally diagnosed in 2018 at 40 years old, about a decade after I first started having more notable symptoms & issues. As a child I had several skin issues (on feet and scalp) and as a teenager I was a cheerleader and tumbler and always had a hyperextended back and elbows. I thought I had a “bad back” starting in my late twenties and early thirties due to my cheer & tumbling days.

At 39 I gave birth to my miracle baby (after a miscarriage at 38) and had my largest flare up I had ever experienced postpartum. I was so stiff in the mornings that I could not walk to the bathroom without holding onto walls and could not use a crib for my baby as I would not be able to lift him in and out of the crib. After the low back pain and stiffness came the eye inflammation (episcleritis) and connective tissue inflammation on my breast bone and lungs. Then the neuropathy on my arms and legs.

I would have continued to suffer without knowing anything about AS, but then a friend told me about a disease her son had called Ankylosising Spondylitis and she asked me if I had heard about it as I had several of the same issues as him. I went to my GP and we found u was HLA-B27 positive. (We already knew I was ANA positive.) She referred me to a rheumatologist who completely dismissed me since I did not show issues on x-ray. Another friend referred me to her amazing rheumatologist. This rheumatologist listened to everything and did a full exam. She was the physician who diagnosed me with non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis. I am so very grateful that she understood the complexities of the disease and very much validated all I have experienced.

We continue to be on a journey to find the best treatment plan for me. I am the solo mama of two young boys and am determined to remain active & fight for my best possible health for them! My youngest son has already had some skin issues on his body and scalp and that concerns me for the genetic component of this disease. I pray for better detection, treatments and ultimate healing from this disease for all. ♥️

One Response to “A.S. Face 2243: Natalie G.”

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

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