I am 24 years old and have Ankylosing Spondylitis. I have exhibited symptoms for approximately 8 years. The crippling pain would leave me crawling to try to get to the bathroom. I would literally get stuck and not be able to move, people thought I was being dramatic, people didn’t believe me. I saw numerous specialists and was repeatedly told I had weak stomach muscles which caused my lower back pain. I used to get miserable steroid joint injections in my sacroiliac joints and eventually had a blood test determining I am HLA-B27 positive. There is no known genetic history, but I do not know my dad’s side of the family. The disease limited me in my tap dance classes and synchronized swimming in college. I used to be very fit and loved personal training, I am now struggling to get back to my active lifestyle. I have been taking Enbrel for about 5 years, but don’t follow the correct regimen because I am so scared of the long term side effects. When I do take it, it does wonders. I realize that if I continue to not follow doctor’s orders the drug could become ineffective. I have this inner battle every day. I hope I will get to see a cure in my lifetime. I hope I will be able to give birth to a child one day. Until then I will do my best to overcome the challenges AS has presented and try to remember to live every day to the fullest. It is comforting to know other people are dealing with the same thing and I wish them the very best.
Pennsylvania, United States of America