Jessica

Face 1390

My name is Jessica, I am 26 years old, I live in Southern New Jersey and I have AS.  I have experienced pain for as long as I can remember.  I come from a military background so maintaining a “no pain no gain” mentality has always been our way.  After going to many specialists at the age of 15 and on, I was told to “grin and bare it”.  I thought my parents were right…no answer must mean that I am being weak.  So I did just that, I put hat fake smile on and tried to pull myself through life.  After getting engaged and wanting to join the military myself, I started with an intense work out routine and told myself that I couldn’t take it easy b/c basic training wouldn’t be easy on me.  My body quickly gave out on me, and back to the specialists I went.  The doctors kept shifting me from DR. to DR. when finally, after 3 years, one had said my fingers look rather arthritic and I should see a Rheumotologist.  And just like that, after some testing I am finally told a name to my imprisoner; AS.  It is unbelievable what those simple letters meant to me.  I finally had an answer.  I also found out that the AS was able to attack my body after contracting a bacterial infection in my stomach at the age of 12 that landed me in the hospital for quite some time…  I haven’t been weak, but STRONG!  And now, after looking at how I tried to keep my pain hidden from those around me for so long, I now want to stand proud of who I am.  And honestly, without the support of the other courageous “faces of AS”, I would not have the strength to stand up right now and shout “MY NAME IS JESSICA, AND I HAVE AS!!!”   Thank all of you for lending a hand when I needed it most.
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One Response to “Jessica”

  1. Dear Jessica,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.
    Sincerely Cookie

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