Face 1523I am 33-year-old woman living in Ontario Canada. I was recently diagnosed in January 2015.
About 10 years ago I begin my career as a transit operator with the city of Hamilton.  Prior to me starting this job I always had back pain I summed it up to just being slightly top-heavy and with large breasts. But in my younger years leading up to this job that I began ,I was always fairly athletic never much of a runner, but I could take part in many different activities. When I started my job I was pregnant with my first child everything went well, I was happy with the way my life was going, things were looking up! My delivery with my daughter was less than an easy one, it was the type of delivery that made you promise you would never have children again. The anesthesiologist put in the epidural five different times each time resulted in intense pain running down the side of both of my legs. The reality was my daughter wasn’t waiting for anybody! So I was having my daughter, ( all ten pounds of her) without any medication.
Anyway life went on with my bouncing baby girl and she turned out perfect 🙂 after about six months I went back to work and life was normal once again. I was living a good life gaining weight as the years pass on, and found myself getting slower and sluggish and sore. Five years later giving birth to my bouncing baby boy who was delivered by emergency C-section due to complications again with the delivery.
After having my son and returning back to work once again I started to notice things a little bit differently, my back was extremely sore and my muscles seemed to spasm. I sum this up to a side effect of my job. Let’s face it…. Bouncing around in the driver seat for 10 to 12 hours a day is not easy for even the healthiest of people. Different things started to happen in my life, I started to sleep sitting upright.  I also needed orthotics for my feet, which I found strange since I didn’t use them as much as other people do lol some mornings I would wake up in the muscles in my back would be so incredibly tight that I would literally be afraid to sneeze! I was always taking a lot of pain pills and muscle relaxants to ease the pain and discomfort , But again this is something that I just chalked up as to being a bus driver bouncing around in the seat the day before. I would always going to work no matter how sore my body was because oddly enough the pain would often subside as my shift went on. Sometimes I would have to get up out of my seat quite gingerly because my hips were incredibly painful. But overall, I considered myself to be a fairly healthy person.
In September 2014 I was having some serious issues, I wasn’t sure if I was having sciatic pain or what was happening? In conjunction with this pain I was feeling with my muscles, The bones in my hips were causing much discomfort. Again I worked through this pain for approximately six weeks. It got to the point where I couldn’t even get off of the bus without extreme shooting pains from the muscle spasms. I wasn’t able to bend down I wasn’t able to put on my socks I wasn’t able to put on my underwear I was getting depressed. Honestly I put off going to the doctor for so long because I figured that he would just suggest that I was overweight and out of shape and that’s why this is happening to me. Which he wouldn’t necessarily be wrong, but I wanted more answers than that. I booked off of work and was on sick leave. After a few visits with my doctor he actually had an inclination that I could have ankylosing spondylitis, I had never heard of this before. He referred me to a rheumatologist quickly and sent me for much blood work, and really got the ball rolling.
I was diagnosed officially in January and have done some research and learned quite a bit since then. As it turns out I have two uncles from my father side who are also plagued with this disease. Since we are not a very close family nor one that is very communicative I had no idea of this!
My first flareup that caused all the Curiosity that thankfully resulted in a diagnosis, has lasted over four months before It subsided. Even then many days are still very touch and go.

Ontario, Canada

One Response to “Tiffany”

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

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