Hi my name is Heather Snyder-Samsel. Here is my AS story. I was just recently diagnosed 5 months ago. Guess I noticed changes back in 2009 when I was going thru a divorce but kind of blew it off to working 60+ hours a week in management job ,dealing with stress with divorce. I started feeling very exhausted felt like a light switch just took away any energy I had. I take a nap it last 3 hours I wake up feeling like I didn’t even get any sleep. Just thought cause my work schedule so demanding I was just tired. Then noticed if I did a lot of lifting or movement my back be sore but just my lower back. Just took Advil and ignored it. Few times noticed very stiff in lower back in the morning again just work tiredness. In 2012 meet my future husband we just friends but he seen as time went on how tired I was but I just said lots of hours at work. In 2013 he moved in and Aug of that year I was hit hard with back stiffness at times couldn’t get out of bed and the exhaustion I had. Then all of a sudden I had my toe swell up I thought been on my feet to long but next thing I knew for 3 months my feet joints (ball of my foot) wouldn’t go down could barely walk my tiredness got more worse , my lower back and now my neck was getting stiff. I went to podiatrist he did MRI and said nothing showing on MRI he said I think u have arthritis u need to see ur primary then get referral for a rhemy dr. Went to primary dr she tested me then sent me to rhemy dr. He did complete panel of blood work n xrays. Tested positive for hla-b27. Xrays showed some bone density loss in neck and lower back. Was put on mtx and humira cause my As was hitting me fast and hard. stiffness in knees n couldn’t sleep cause I wake in pain my leg bones hurt so bad. During this process my future husband never turned his back on me ,stood with me through the whole process. I told him if this is to much for him to handle I understand him going. As of 3-22-14 we got married , at times james has to give me my humira shots I just hate doing them. He has been my support, my voice when i give up, knowing I’m in pain everyday but seeing me push myself to live life and not let this AS win the battle. He knows when I’m exhausted to let me rest cause it is the AS hitting me. I had to finally stop working management and went to working less then 40 hours a week . I have not done this in 21 years, I’ve always worked a lot of hours. But I did notice when I have stress at work I would get flare ups. Just been on humira for two months and been a gradual slow improvement little less stiffness in back and knees. Dr said give up to six months if by then it doesn’t work then next enbrel. Only been five months and its been hard adjustment but I’ve been blessed with great husband, family, good drs and this support group.
Thanks for listening
Texas, United States of America