Mel S.

I know my story is common for women with this disease. To be told it’s all in your head for most of your life, you start to believe it!

My first symptom, possibly my trigger, was a stiff neck. It was bent at a near-right angle for a week, no explanation, other than a possible virus. About that time, after a swimming lesson at age 9, I barely made it to the lawn, where I collapsed from exhaustion. I got in trouble for being dramatic.
That was the beginning of an almost 35 year stretch of being told, by family and most doctors, that all my symptoms (except the the neck episode) were: growing pains, attention seeking, depression, drug seeking behavior and simply “you’re lazy!”. I was also told, in my late 20’s, I was too young and healthy for anything to be wrong with me. In my early 40’s, one doctor actually told me I was too pretty to be taking occasional vicodin.
Finally, a couple of years later, I was diagnosed with AS, only a year or two before I was unable to work at all. My husband said he doesn’t know how I managed to keep working years longer than he thought I could. I’m now, 56 and living in pain, but happy. It’s hard to be happy and love yourself, when doctors keep telling you you’re crazy!
I am HlaB27 negative, but one brother is positive.

Montana, United States of America

One Response to “Mel S.”

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

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