Hello, my name is Kim. I am 38 yrs old, and I was diagnosed a little over a yr ago. I have lived with low back pain for years, but I thought it was related to a bulging disc. Only when I started having extreme pain in all of my joints with severe morning pain and stiffness did I seek treatment. My inflammatory markers have always been negative, but my MRI showed sacroiliitis. I also have a history of crohn’s disease which can be a precursor for spondyloarthropathy. I am a registered nurse, and I work long, physical 12 hr shifts. Before gaining some relief from Enbrel, I was trying to figure out what kind of less physical work I could do, or how I would survive on disability. Thankfully, I am still able to work, though not completely without pain. I continue to lead a relatively normal life, but I have learned to pace myself, and some things that used to be extremely important to me (a spotless house) are now at the bottom of my priorities. I have learned that I can’t continue to push my body or I will be in too much pain to enjoy the really important things…my kids’ ball games, family get togethers, etc. I try to keep a positive outlook, but sometimes, when I am doing a simple, everyday task (in pain) I get frustrated, and whine, and ask, “why can’t I be normal?!” Thank you for bringing awareness to our illness. We still look “not sick” so people don’t understand.
Clarksville, Texas United States of America