My name is Tony F., I am 32 years old, and I have AS. I first started showing signs of AS when I was 13 years old by having serious back pain issues. When I was 15 I starting having different pains on top of the back pain; in my feet, chest wall, hips, and muscles. I went to 5 different doctors at 4 different hospitals and none of them could tell me why I was having this pain or what was causing it. I had MRIs done and not a thing was found from them. The doctors started guessing at what I had and at one point and gave me a picc line as they thought I had a serious infection in my hip, turns out, I didn’t. From age 15-25 the pain came and went, sometimes I had good days, sometimes I had horrible days. I ended up missing a month of work at one point in time. Then when I was 25 years old, I developed this golf ball sized lump on the middle of my spine that hurt tremendously. I went to my normal physician and he did not know what it was so he sent me off to have X-rays done. While the radiologist was looking at my X-rays, he noticed that one side of my hip was fused together. From that point, it was determined that I might have AS. I was sent to a rheumatoid arthritis doctor, and I was in fact diagnosed with AS. I thought I had every symptom of AS until in 2010 my eye started burning and was oh so sensitive to light. Come to find out, I had yet another symptom of AS, Iritis. Not fun.
I am currently on Enbrel, seeing a specialist in Chicago semi-annually, and trying to exercise so that I can lead a normal life as much as possible.
Illinois, United States of America