I am 48 , married, with 3 wonderful boys, ages 30,27, and 17. I started having back pain in my teens, My mother threatened me with a back brace if I didn’t straighten up ! I was an avid ballet dancer until I was 18 so I was in fabulous shape when I got pregnant with my first son. After #2 was born , the pain started , with numbness radiating down my leg…surgery #1 Lumbar discectomy and Laminectomy at the ripe age of 22. 10 years later and pregnancy #3 ….POP what was left of the discs at L4-5 and L5-S1 ruptured 4 months into my pregnancy. SO my baby was born in March , surgery was in Aug. 1997….I was 31…..Keep in mind I worked straight thru both pregnancies …2002….Here we go again…I was an asst. property manager at a 5 star brand new apartment community ….It involved tons of walking, stairs and property inspections. POP here we go again….surgery #3 was in 2003. It was at that time I started seeing a rheumatologist. He tested me for the HLA-B27 gene marker when I told him that my dad and brother had terrible back problems.I was never treated for AS as it was not active at the time of diagnosis! Fast forward …..Nov 2012…I have a great job , been working for a group of surgeons for 7 years !! POW ….here we go again ….debilitating pain , out of work due to disability ….FIRED in January .In the last year and a half, I have has multiple nerve root blocks, epidural injections, a rhizotomy ….I’ve probably had upwards of 20+ needles in my back. 2 neurosurgery consults …Multi level fusion was offered , BUT nether Dr REALLY wants to operate , and I do not want a fusion. Presently …..My AS ( they THINK) has finally reared its ugly head .This time last year I saw a new Rhuemy who I LOVE …he did xrays but it showed no evidence of active AS. THIS year however tells a whole diferent story. My back is killing me, my hands are swollen and sore ….Back to the Rhuemy…Blood tests show an elevated CRP or 77.9 , bone scan shows my SI joints lite up like a Christmas tree ….So HERE I AM !! Before my rheumy will start me on remicade I have to see a specialist at Johns Hopkins that ONLY does research on AS. That appt. is next Friday ……Every morning gets harder and harder to get out of bed….The emotional toll this has played on me is a whole other story for another time !! Thank you for your hard work on the website, and the FB page …..Lori Bruther AS warrior since 2003 This first pic is me now…..with my fur babies !! The other is My modelinghead shot….I had just started doing some paid modeling gigs when I Flared …Now I feel fat ….and ugly and just NOT myself anymore.
Maryland, United States of America