My name is Bridget Fitzsimmons, I am 23 years old living in North Carolina. Experiencing symptoms since I was 9. I was diagnosed two years ago in Rhode Island (my home town). Being so young no one really believed my chronic pain symptoms. Until two years ago it finally showed on the x rays. It is an invisible disease at first. It’s invisible to doctors that don’t know what they are looking for, and invisible until its too late and the fusing and damage has already begun. Its also invisible to the people around you that do not know what it feels like. I was told by many doctors that I had to wait for the symptoms to be diagnosed. My mom stood by my side through all my appointments. Waiting for an answer. It is a very frustrating process and I cried when I found out I had ankylosing spondylitis. I finally had all the answers. I am now on remicade drug infusions every 6 weeks. For the rest of my Life. Almost completely pain free with the exception of tingling and pain behind the shoulder blades and of course the fatigue is still there!!! I am blessed to have such an amazing group of doctors. I never thought I would find someone who would love me with all of the medical issues I have. during flare ups I feel like a burden, but I just recently married the love of my life. He is so supportive and understanding. I am a lucky girl to have so much support and a diagnosis. I am sending prayers to everyone that is still waiting for answers.
North Carolina, United States of America