Hello my name is Christine Johnson, and I have been suffering from AS symptoms for as long as I can remember, when I was a teenage girl my pelvis hurt so bad it would make me cry … My parents brought me in only to be told I was having growing pains in my hips and back. In my 20’s I started to have many other problems and started to go to the chiropractor, therapy… this included aqua therapy, acupuncture injections … my knees started to struggle along with awful pain in my rib cage, where I was told everything from a bra strap rubbing it to extra weight in the mid section … My knees began to become worse I feel from the pain in my hips and back I was walking funny and compensating for the pain… In 2010 I underwent a right knee replacement at the age of 38… I have seen many rheumatologists and orthopedic doctors , all to big for there britches …. nothing was wrong I had arthritis. I have had about 10 shots in each side of my SI joints and about amounts of shots in my back and knee, my back is loaded with bone spurs and is very painful, it didn’t seem like any of these were helping at all… so after thousands of dollars and 30+ years I made my mind up to go the Mayo clinic in Rochester MN.
Where I had many test and was gone over with a fine tooth comb, after a few weeks of meeting with doctor I was told that I have AS, I had a name , I had a chance to begin to understand all this pain I had been feeling all these years… so many doctors so much money… I was even days away from getting surgeries that would of made my conditions worst. I am now just starting Enbrel, after this long journey of being made to feel like I was loosing my mind, maybe there was nothing wrong and I was overthinking it and I was depressed like they told me and it was making it worst … I NOW have a name to my disease and am just beginning to understand it, My days are painful and my nights are long… I just give all my energy to my two boys 7-10 yr. old… my story is full of much more pain and defeat, but I will not let it destroy me… I have a purpose now! I know.
Minnesota, United States of America