Hello my name is Nikki Gonzalez, I’m 25 and I was diagnosed with AS in June of 2010. Nine months before that I had got some kitchen cleaner in one of my eyes and could not figure out why the redness had not gone away for weeks. Then suddenly I would wake up with red eyes that were so painful and sensitive to the light that all I could do was stay under a heavy blanket all day. Uninsured I was paying hundreds of dollars monthly to see an ophthalmologist to treat iritis. I couldn’t afford lab work so this continued for months until I was finally able to obtain insurance through my job. After numerous blood draws and x-rays my Rheumatologist diagnosed me with AS. I had stiffness and pain in my lower back but always thought it was due to my weight and my job of standing all day. Methotrexate got rid of the iritis but affected my liver too much so I’m off it now and praying it does not come back. I don’t have horrible pain it’s very minimal and I am so thankful for that. I take Humira which is like injecting acid I swear! I hate it but I am so happy that financial assistance out there is helping me with my $400 monthly co-pay. I have been in contact with some amazing people who helped me with financial assistance and it’s just so awesome. I know there are a lot of people out there who do not have the help that they need. I am mostly scared of what the future holds. I’m afraid of my spine fusing, I’m afraid of being in pain, and I’m afraid of being disabled. I know it wouldn’t be the end but it terrifies me. I am praying for a cure. And I’m praying for all AS sufferers out there!
Colorado Springs, Colorado United States Of America