My name is Grace. I am a 17 year old high school senior.
My symptoms of AS have been very minor for several years-inflamed back and knees from time to time- nothing that warranted much worry.
But in June I started to experience great amounts of pain in my knees and back after any sort of exercise. I shrugged it off and used basic physical therapy and ibuprofen to treat the pain.
In August however, I started marching band camp and quick found that I could not do the simplest things and that anything I did put my back in agony.
My dad took me to his rheumatologist friend, and after NSAIDS, x rays, and an MRI, he diagnosed me with AS.
I’m a musician. I play many instruments, and my AS has affected my ability to play, but I do not let that stop me. In fact at the end of March I played my string bass in the largest theater in Las Vegas in a huge ensemble.
Moving is hard, life is hard, but I move on. This summer I’ll be moving and starting college, where I will continue to play all my instruments and where I will continue to win my battle with AS.
Nevada, United States of America