My name is Kandi Bussey, I am from sunny Tucson, AZ. I am 42 years old and I am married with 3 teenage children. I am so thankful to have a supportive husband. Because of his support I am able to stay home and do my best take care of ME. I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis in 2010.. In addition to A.S. I have Chiari Malformation I (a condition in which brain tissue extends into your spinal canal), degenerative disc disease, scoliosis and several other issues. I was lucky to find a rheumatologist that immediately suspected A.S and confirmed it with blood work. I am HLAB27 positive. At the time, there was no other family member that had dealt with this disease. However, I have since had an Aunt diagnosed with A.S.
For me, A.S really effects my soft tissue. Since 2008 I have had 11 surgeries, mostly repairing ligaments, tendons and muscle injuries. A simple fall can cause lots of damage and often I damage my ligaments and tendons with normal daily activities. Since my dx I have had to fight to get correct treatment for myself. I will be seeing my 3rd rheumatologist soon and have high hopes to finally have a doctor willing to treat this disease with the aggression it needs. I am at the beginning stages of fusion and because of that my previous doctors were hesitant to be proactive.
I do my best to stay active. My favorite things to keep me moving include walking along our (dry) riverbanks, hiking simple trails, and riding my bike. Some days are better than others.
Some weeks I can be active every day and then some it may take days to recover from a simple outing. I think the inconsistency is the most frustrating part of this illness.
I am grateful to have found an amazing community of people, just like me.
Blessings to each and every one of you.
Arizona, United States of America