Hi, I am Jen and I was diagnosed in March 2010 with AS, a few days before my son’s 1st birthday. I have had pain since I was 15 in my lower back and hips but thought it was due to helping my Papa re shingle our roof when I was 15. I always blew off the pain and just dealt with it. Then I was diagnosed with MS in 1997 and that took over my life. I contributed my off and on pain to the MS. Then in 2008 I married the love of my life and in March of 2009 we had our beautiful baby boy. Several months after his birth I began having severe lower back pain to the point I could no longer pick him up or function, the doctors thought it was my MS but I knew it was different. With the help of steroids it got better only to have a severe pain flare in my tailbone that sent me to the ER. I went to an appointment with my neurologist and thankfully he listened to me and knew this was more than my MS. He sent me for several tests including an MRI and Bone scan. The results showed severe inflammation in all of my major joints. I was then referred to a Rheumy and was diagnosed with AS at my second appointment. I have inflammation in both SI joints, tailbone, both knees, both ankles, both feet, neck, ribs, both elbows, both shoulders, both wrists, both hands and jaw. I now take Mobic, MTX injections, Loratab and daily steroids to help with the pain and stiffness. I am unable to take some of the other meds due to my MS diagnosis. Everyday is a struggle but with the help of my friends and family we manage. I have never been one to give up so I fight to keep my independence. I am just grateful for the blessings I have in my life. I hope that by my example I am able to teach my son that anything is possible with faith, courage and determination.
Georgia United States of America