Louise Irwin

My name is Louise and I have just been diagnosed with AS.

I am 26 today and have been suffering for at least 5 years.

I live in Australia.

I had to find out what was wrong after it ruined my career I was exhausted, angry and in a lot of pain. After changing jobs three times and waking up in agony knowing there was nothing I could do but suffer because no one could help me. I tried everything of course, remedial massage, acupuncture, Chiro, Physio, Sports Therapist… you name it, I tried it. With little or no relief in fact in some cases the pain was increased. I had begun wishing that I hadn’t even tried to fix the pain. Basically became depressed and had had enough so I found a good doctor and after countless times of going in crying, finally after CT scans and so many blood tests it seemed that we had found the answer HLB-27 postitive. The illness I had to experience would have to have been one of the lowest points of my life- no ones deserves that kind of pain. Finally finding out I had AS has been a relief but it’s only early days- I officially found out 2 weeks ago. I know that my future may be affected with this diagnosis. As a young single, independent and confident female- people love to judge my character. Still this day I have little support and friends don’t care and don’t understand. People laugh if I say arthritis. Because I am such a fun-living soul no one would think I suffer day in day out. I am starting to feel old though – wearing high heels is a thing of the past. I’ve worked hard to get to where I am now, and I am happy- although AS brings me to feel bitter I still have a higher appreciation for life and I have Hope that we will be OK. I am staying positive but let’s face it it’s hard. I’m now living my life to prevent any flare ups but sometimes it’s inevitable. I’m getting much fitter and I aim to do marathons and fun runs to help raise awareness for AS. I will strive to be as good as I can when i am feeling as good as I can!! I could whinge on forever about how AS has affected my life, but it’s already taken me a week to write this  because at times I feel lost for words. I still believe I can Live The Dream- one must have lived through a nightmare to be able to grasp the concept. Thankyou to ASAP for the awareness of Ankylosing Spondylitis.


One Response to “Louise Irwin”

  1. Dear Louise,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Remember you are never alone, you walk with those who understand.

    Sincerely Cookie

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