Hi, I am Kimberly Bond. I was diagnosed with AS in 2012. I have probably been sick for a very long time. I had 7 surgeries in 6 years and thought that is why I had not felt good. I was overweight and that is why I did not feel good. I have one leg that is a tiny bit shorter than the other and that is why my back hurt. I have never been able to lay flat on my back and not get stuck. I never knew why. I could not lay on the floor or a bed flat on my back without needing help to get up. I never knew why. I used to be able to walk, a lot, not any more. I want to be able to do that again without feeling like something is grabbing my back and squeezing it. I was at work one night and my fingers curled up and would not straighten out or separate. I went to the hospital and they thought that I had Chiari malformation and put me in a neck brace and after a few months I was able to separate and straighten out my fingers. MRI’s and EEG’s later I was told I had bulging discs. Then my hands started shaking all the time and falling, they thought I had Parkinson’s and I was put on meds for that. The first time I really felt that something was truly wrong with my back was when I couldn’t do the Electric Slide!!! LOL My right hip would not work. I was a cheerleader, taught cheerleading and danced for years so this was heartbreaking. I went to the Dr. and they did x rays on my hips and did labs and sent me to a rheumatologist. I was diagnosed with AS, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. I started gabapentin and felt fabulous for about two weeks and then I could not see very well. I could not take that any more. Then I started on sulfasalazine, I started feeling great, for about a month, then I was so nauseated I could barely get out of bed. I have now been on Enbrel for more than a year and I can’t do without it. I have had epidural steroid injections in my back and neck. I have a disc extrusion in my neck. They have worked very well for me. I recently had a radio frequency ablation on my lower back and I feel so much better. I now feel like I can go back to walking. I am so excited for this!!! Next I want to be able to dance again. This disease has cost me 4 jobs because I could not get up in the mornings and be on time. Then I could not function for a full work week without the fatigue overcoming me. My advice is to keep on going. Keep trying to do all of the things you want to do. But be careful, I almost drowned two years ago at the lake because I could not get any air after I had swam under water. Be joyful and pray!! Do good for other people. Find something that makes you feel like you are making a difference. I work in the medical field and I feel like I make a difference. I am hoping this disease does not cost me this job but if it does I will find another. Keep going because what choice do we have!!!!!!!
Oklahoma, United States of America