My name is Kristen Oddi and I am 28 years old. I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis in August of 2011. Prior to my diagnosis, I would find myself in tremendous pain when trying to sit, lay down, sleep, etc. Sleeping was miserable as my body would just burn with constant pain. There was nothing I could do to ease the discomfort. Occasionally, the pain would subside with activities such as working out but it would always come creeping back. I saw numerous doctors (most of whom would tell me it was “just a little back pain”) that would just prescribe pain medications, send me to physical therapy, inject countless epidurals, or perform those fun filled radioactive frequencies. I always knew something more severe was going on, but unfortunately none of the doctors could identify the problem. Finally, a Rheumatologist mentioned those two scary words, “Ankylosing Spondylitis”. After learning how to pronounce this diagnosis, we immediately started the testing process through X-Rays, MRIs and extensive blood work. My blood work tested positive for HLA-B27 and the X-Rays and MRIs confirmed spinal fusing. After receiving the official diagnosis, I quickly began receiving my Remicade infusions which have been amazing! In addition to my oral medications and the infusions, I exercise daily in hopes of slowing down the fusion process.
I do not allow AS to slow me down! I always remind myself that things could be much worse! My support team, faith, medications, diet, and exercise help me to fight this battle with confidence!
Georgia, United States of America