My name is Hilary and I am 22 years young. For as long as I can remember I have always suffered from neck pain. At the age of 10 I found my passion for Muay Thai and began training religiously. By the time I was 15 I was fighting for the best team in North America and training with the best coach world wide. I continued to train and live life to the fullest, and get my first job as a nursing assistant. While all this was going on my body still hurt and my neck only seem to feel worse. I thought my body hurt because my job was physically straining and from training for a combat sport for years. When I quit training right after high school to go to nursing school my body still hurt. I was diagnosed with GERD and IBS, felt sick often and just becoming depressed on how stressful life was and how I didn’t feel healthy although I take care of myself better than anyone else I know. Last August my achilles tendon started to hurt very badly and became inflamed. I thought I just hurt it running one day. Nope, they achilles discomfort conitnued. Then this past January my index finger, and feet became EXTREMLEY swollen and VERY painful. In my last semester of school, working in an ICU this almost made me quit my job. By February I developed a butt-kicking case of iritis. After seeing an opthamologist I was reffered to a rhuematologist. After a history, physical, and labs, I was diagnosed with AS. 2013 has been life changing, painful, challenging, and depressing. I no longer can do sports, run outside, or have energy to go out and have fun some days. As a new nurse in the ICU I am mentally stressed and AS makes is much more difficult. My body cannot keep up with the pace of the ICU and mentally that is killing me. This week I am starting Methotrexate therapy hoping it will help. AS has consumed me for months now and all I want is to find peace and have a healthy mindset again. Most of all I wish people looking at me thinking I appear healthy would understand and not prejudge me.
Thank You for letting me share my story here, YOU ALL are very touching and a great resource for education and awareness.
Wisconsin, United States of America