Kiersten Marie Brown
I am 20 years old and was diagnosed with AS when I was 18. In high school I was an athlete, I ran cross country and played softball. During both of those activities I always had minor pains in my back and knees but like any other athlete I thought it was nothing. I have always been an active person and it broke my heart when I was diagnosed. It all started when I was playing a friendly game of baseball on a wet field and as a result I slipped and sprained my ankle. I have had many ankle sprains in the past so I nursed it on my own but something just was not right, it would not heal. I made 2 trips to the Emergency Room but they did the same thing; X-ray, wrap and crutches. I did everything they said to do and things got worse. I was soon not able to get out of bed due to my knees and BOTH ankles being so swollen. It took everything I had to even get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom. I then scheduled an appointment with a doctor in my home town who specializes in Orthopedic Medicine. He noticed the signs right away and referred me to a Rheumatologist in my town as well. I made my visit with the Specialist and he sent me in for labs. It turns out something was wrong with me and I wasn’t crazy! The doctor put me on Prednisone, Hydroxycloroquine, and Sulfasalazine. I continued to visit him regularly but I was not happy with the doctor. I asked multiple times if there was anything more “natural” that I could do because I am not one to put “drugs” into my body. He told me no and got very rude with me and also tried to force me to take oral contraceptives which is against my beliefs and also has made me very sick in the past (I had to take for another medical issue). I have been off of all medications for 8-9 months now and I am doing WONDERFUL! I take aleve as needed which is NOT often, I do have morning stiffness at times but it lasts for at the most 2 minutes. I am beyond blessed and I enjoy reading every single story on this website! It shows that all things affect others in different ways. Keep on fighting AS WARRIORS… I believe in all of you.
Brawley, California, United States of America