Lisa Triemstra

My name is Lisa Triemstra, I am 41 years old.  Mother of 3.  I was introduced to A.S. after the birth of my 2nd child when I was 29 yrs. Old.  His delivery was difficult and a week later I experienced the most intense pain in my pelvic/sacro. Joints imaginable.  I was unable to walk, weight bear, or lay flat.  I was in the E. R., my family doctor office and OBGYN repeatedly – and all they could come up with is they thought I must have had a cracked pelvic ring.  I was 29 years old, with a 1.5 year old son at home and a new born, and walking with a cane.  My chiropractor ordered a brace which I wore over my hips – as tight as possible – to keep my pelvic ring in place.  It didn’t help the pain, but it was the only suggestion they had.  At this point a CT scan or MRI was never suggested.  For 4 years I lived like this – quit all sporting activities that involved running and drastically altered my life style.  The constant words uttered from my lips were ‘watch my hip’.  3 years later we had one more child – a baby girl – and I was petrified of the delivery and experiencing the pain of the ‘cracked pelvic ring’.

My daughter was born with ease – and the pain I had experienced after the 2nd birth was not there.  Instead I was having pain now further up my back.  Stiffness, exhaustion, trouble breathing etc.  After breaking down in tears in my family Dr office I begged for help.  I was sent to an Internal Medicine specialist who reviewed my chart and was shocked that no one had sent me for a CT scan or MRI.  He immediately ordered these but told me on my first consultation that he believe I had A.S.  He believed the pain I had after my second son was born was the A.S. in a flare up – and he believed serious damage had been done.

I had never heard of A.S. before – and was in shock.  I was the mother of 3 kids under the age of 7 – and all I could think of was why hadn’t anyone sent me for these tests.  A subsequent MRI and CT confirmed A.S. and fusion in my spine as well as complete fusion of my left sacro.  joint.   He told me I was lucky I had my kids when I did – that the medication I would be taking would make it impossible to have more children.

I started on methotrexate first – had horrible tolerance to it – hair loss, vomiting, etc – but gained mobility!  I no longer had to walk with a cane.   I was on that drug for 2 years before being forwarded from my internal medicine Dr to a Rheumatoid specialist.  I developed fibromyalgia, thought to be from the trauma to my body from the disease.  I started nerve block treatments 2 years ago, as well as TNF blockers and have more medication to take daily that I care to mention,  to help deal with the pain & control the disease.

I am lucky that I work for a hospital, in a department with Nurses, who help support my illness and understand the daily struggles.

I wish my children were never exposed to this, or see me at my worst during a flair.

My husband is my lifeline.  He is strong when I am not.  He lets me cry, scream or yell when I have had enough – and he pushes me to remember that even though its bad – it could be worse.

I wouldn’t wish this on anyone – and I hate starting my day wondering when I will feel worse or if I will ever feel better.

I love this website – it has given me hope to read the common stories of the patients who have written in.

Thank you – for giving me a place to feel like I belong.


Ontario Canada

One Response to “Lisa Triemstra”

  1. Dear Lisa,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, and I feel the same way, I finally have a place I belong.
    Sincerely Cookie

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