Linda Cagle

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My name is Linda. I’m 54 years old. I suffer from AS and this is my story:

I started having back pain in my late teens. Over the years the pain became intolerable. I went from doctor to doctor looking for answers. I heard it was growing pains, strains, sprains and later in life the pain was attributed to pregnancy. I would follow the doctors advice to no avail

In 1990 the pain became debilitating. I was carried into the doctors office. I was asked the routine questions; did you fall ? Were you in an accident ? Is it a sports injury ? I answered no to each question. The doctor was stunned. I thought, here we go again ! To my surprise the doctor was curious and wanted to find the reason for such pain. He ordered blood work and x-rays. Two days later I was given the news that I had ankylosing spondylitis. I was happy to know there was a name for my pain.

Over the next few years my condition worsened. I was experiencing increased pain and stiffness. As my health deteriorated so did my marriage. I was hurt and surprised to hear his reason for leaving. He stated he didn’t want to be married to a cripple.

This was a turning point in my life. I picked myself up, took my five children and started a new life.

I searched and found an excellent rheumatologist. He treated me with respect and as a person. He listened to me as I explained my pain and stiffness. He truly understood what I was going through. He found the right combination of medication and gradually my quality of life improved.

Today my life is fulfilling. I have Re married. My husband is sympathetic and supportive as I work through the pain and stiffness I experience on a daily basis. We have been together for ten years now and he accepts me for who I am.

My outlook on life has changed through the years. I now accept my limitations in life. I stay active and positive. I will not let AS dictate my life.

Thank you for listening to my story.

Linda Cagle

Tennessee, United States of America

One Response to “Linda Cagle”

  1. Dear Linda,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.
    Sincerely Cookie

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