My name is Stephanie, I’m 30 years old and found out I had AS in late 2012. I found out in the oddest way. It was a week before Christmas my husband was wrapping gifts up stairs I went to go downstairs but lost my grip and fell very hard down the stairs. I ended up with a bruise the size of a basketball it was so bad my husband drove me to the fort bragg hospital. The doctors were shocked that I didn’t break anything with that amount and size and darkness of the bruising. They ordered a couple of CT scans. They told me I was fine and to go pick up my medicine at the Womack pharmacy. While sitting at the pharmacy the doctor actually called me back stating I need to return asap. We returned back and was rushed back. The doctors all confirmed with others and saw signs of AS and I need to go get my blood work done to check for the HLA B27 gene. It came back positive. I was scared and devastated. I was sent to a rheumatologist. I sat with the doctor there and was explained everything. That I basically have no immune system. That my spine would conform to solid bone. He prescribed me on remicade. He told me sadly that children while on this would not be possible. That I will have to wait two years after I hit remission.
I have already had surgery to my right shoulder due to the AS and now my knee is going out. I also have deteriorate disc disease. A disc has fallen out already at work. I can no longer work my doctors want me to file for disability. I am trying but been told by social security I didnt make enough and too young. I will peruse it and try my best. I have had a terrible time with it. I missed two weeks of work when I got the flu and pneumonia they even wrote me up for it even with doctors notes. I am greatly fatigued there are days I cant function. Ive lost alot of hair and bruising all the time. I sweat alot and feel over heated daily. Didnt really know the sun was bad to and almost suffered a heat stroke at a 4th july concert on bragg. I drank alot of water but all I remembered was going to get ice cream and woke up in the medical tent. Its hard having an auto immune diease. I take alot of vitamins I changed my eating habits. And lifestyle. I get so easily sick. A kid where I worked coughed like hell all over me while I was the register.
I try so hard not to let this control me. I have good days and bad days. The saddest thing for me is not having children.
North Carolina, United States of America