My name is Tanya and I live in Australia

Like many women with AS, I was only recently diagnosed at age 40, after I had given up years earlier trying to figure out what was wrong with me, and thinking as others had suggested to me, that it was because I was a hypochondriac and should have a more positive outlook in life.

Luckily I had a major flare (dismissed again) followed by my first bout of Uveitis (Yay!!) the Opthamologist who caught the Uveitis asked if I had ever had back pain? YES …… my first signs appeared when I was @14 and my legs started giving away unexpectedly dropping me to the ground and the excruciating SI pain started, making movement, sitting and sleeping unbearable. This ramped up after the birth of my son @21 and never stopped, just ebbed and flowed as I unknowingly fought a constant battle against inflammation throughout my body thus confirming my hypochondriac status.

The correct tests followed with a referral to see a rheumatologist and after some debate, Xrays, MRI and bloodwork (with slightly higher then normal ESR and CRP readings), finally a diagnosis “Ankylosing Spondylitis” I was elated to have proof, then the reality and grief hit, I was unlikely to ever get better, only progressively worse as I age and nothing was going to cure me. Shit!

Today I research and implement many protocols both pharmaceutical and complimentary in order to stay healthy and in balance, in the hope I do not wake up tomorrow in a flare, a flare that could last months and leave me incapable of movement or looking after myself and family, or in unbearable pain, but it’s not always possible, I know it’s not my fault and my body is fighting as best it can, under attack from within.

I try to focus on moving forward and not the present pain, I know eventually the pain will ease and I will make it out the other side to continue on to fight the next battle.

Western Australia, Australia

One Response to “Tanya”

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

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