For years I’ve been dealing with pain in my joints and back, with no explanation. Starting a few years ago, every few months one of my eyes would swell, with excruciating pain. It would trade off between my two eyes, and I would endure redness, pain, and blindness. I went to many doctors, trying to find a reason why my eyes would sometimes hurt so harshly and go blind, and got numerous incorrect diagnosis’s. Finally fed up, I went to a far away hospital when my left eye was in so much pain I couldn’t stand it, completely blind, and it looked like my iris was filling with puss. The doctor there told me I had uveitis, and started asking me about pain. I had never thought that my joint pain was related, but he insisted on testing my blood, and I was x-rayed and diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis. As it turns out, the blindness was from so many white blood cells in my eye, and was unable to see through so many. By then it was too late to repair my eyes, my left eye is nearly blind from all the damage. In a matter of weeks, I went from perfect vision to needing glasses to be able to see 4 feet in front of me.
Not everyone with AS will experience uveitis, but in my case it was what lead to doctors taking me seriously about my pain. I am currently undergoing treatment, and hoping for the best. I am the face of AS, in Shelton, CT.
Connecticut, United States of America