My name is Julie Saunders and I have AS. I am 48years old. As a child I knew my back was not like others. I could not do gymnastics and bend like the other kids, even though I tried. I noticed as a teenager laying on my stomach would really hurt. When I would get up my back would lock up and it was very painful before it would subside. I had a doctor look at my back and told me I had scoliosis. Around 14 years old, my friends and I would walk around our neighborhood. Three times that summer my back would lock up in severe pain. I would drop to the ground. I wanted to go to the ER; however, my parents did not realize it was so bad. I later found out I had inflamation of the spinal cord. I always had back problems through the years. In my late twenties and thirties I had colon problems. They thought I had ulcerative colitis. About every 5-10 years I would have different problems that seemed severe, eyes, colon, spasms,stomach, bladder, ect. I started having knee and elbow pain in my late 30’s. My orthopedic Doctor sent me to a Rhuematologist. After blood work and MRI’s and a couple of years, she thought I had AS. I am now on Remicade, sulfazine and celebrex. At times I feel like they don’t work until I miss a dose or right before my infusion. I can tell it makes a difference. I have hope they will find a cure for AS.
Birmingham, Alabama United States of America