I’m Donna, from Ontario Canada. I’m a mother to my 15 year old step-daughter and 3 year old daughter. I’ve been with my husband for 11 years but married for 3. We always thought I would be taking care of him since he has permanent damage to his back from a car accident before we met. Well maybe not. 😉
From some of the stories I’ve heard I think I have been very lucky in my journey to get diagnosed and to get the right medications. Shortly after my daughter was born I started having pain in my back. At first I thought it was from bending over to change diapers, bathing her, etc. Over a couple months the pain began to interfere with my daily life. My next thought was that I had a complication with my epidural during the birth of my daughter.
I didn’t have a family doctor yet since I had moved so I went to the walk in clinic and met with my guardian angel. The doctor who I met with told me that she had a feeling with was Ankylosing Spondylitis. She had just attended a conference for it but it is very rare in women and I would have to do some blood work before meeting with a specialist who would be able to diagnose it.
My blood work came back showing I had rheumatoid factor and I was sent to a rheumatologist. From there I was told that she was pretty sure I had AS but would need to go for an MRI to confirm. Sure enough my MRI has was positive for inflammation in my SI joints and erosion of my disks.
I have since been on anti-inflammatories and biologics from my rheumatologist, an exercise plan from my physiotherapist, orthotics to help the plantar fasciitis (another lovely part of AS), and I am working with an amazing naturopath to hopefully switch over to more natural and less intrusive way of controlling my disease.
I am very lucky to be surrounded by an absolutely amazing support system! My family and close friends know me well enough to know when I have to slow down and I never feel like a hindrance.
Thank you for giving AS a face and spreading awareness for AS.