I was diagnosed last year, at the age of 46. I have had back problems for half of my life. Two years ago I had to start sleeping in a recliner due to not tolerating sleeping flat anymore. Then a year ago my body started swelling. Began with my right 3rd finger, then right 2nd toe. I thought I had gout. Seemed I had all of the symptoms, until my entire right hand started to swell and the joints were extremely painful, both feet were swollen and I could barely tolerate walking from the chair to the bathroom, and the left hand started to swell. My family doctor did some blood work and I was ANA+. He referred me to a rheumatologist, which took a few months to get into. The rheumatologist performed 14 more blood tests. HLA B27+. I was placed on several medications as he tried to find what would work best for me. I am down to three medications now. Cymbalta, Celebrex and Enbrel. I have a lot more good days than bad now! I am so very thankful I didn’t just give up, like I truly felt like many times. This disease is definitely not for the faint of heart! I have found a lot of strength and support by talking with other AS “brothers and sisters”. So many wonderful ideas to try, which I did try several until I really found what worked best for me.
Michigan, United States of America

One Response to “Mindy”

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

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