My name is Sarah, I’m 35 and I live in Sussex UK. I was diagnosed with AS in August 2012 after suffering for ‘only’ 3.5 years. My symptoms began in the 12th week of my second pregnancy. As a result things were initially put down to pregnancy related SPD, with promises that it would all go once I gave birth. If only! After the birth of my daughter my symptoms continued and actually got worse. I was sent around all different physio departments and got nothing apart from “it will settle down eventually”.
The continued pain meant that on returning to work as a Police Officer after a years maternity leave, I was unable to wear the heavy protective gear for longer than five minutes without being in tears of agony. Getting fed up of the situation I was issued with the ultimation “wear the gear and do your job or leave” by my employers. Putting my family first I handed in my resignation and left a job I loved. I was lucky to get another job, in teaching in the adult education sector. It is much more flexible, allowing me to rearrange lessons if I’m in a flare and accommodating my needs. I continued to put pressure on my doctors and rheumatologist for a diagnosis and solution to my pain. It was eventually my GP who suggested it could be AS and got all the balls rolling for the diagnosis.
Treatment wise I started in anti tnf in March, initially on enbrel and despite feeling great on it I had reactions at the injection site so was changed to humeria. I’ve only had three injections so far and can only see a tiny improvement but have everything crossed the improvement continues.
AS has taken a lot from me, a career I loved, my lifestyle and memories of my children as babies. They are only 22 months apart and now aged 3 and 5 with the youngest starting school in September. I feel as if I have spent the past three years drugged up, in horrendous pain and unable to be the active fun mummy I was before this started. My only hopes are that anti tnf works and I am able to become the active fun mummy I was before AS and most importantly a cure is found found for future generations.