Hello, My name is Tracey Montalto. I am a married 33 year old mother of two children and reside in NJ. I was diagnosed with AS about 7 years ago. I believe my symptoms began slowly after I was hospitalized with Mono/Epstein Barr when I was 15 years old. By 20 years old I had lower back pain that stopped me in my tracks. After being refused an MRI by a dr., Because he didn’t believe my back pain was legit, I allowed years to pass without seeing a GP. Had horrible sciatica pain in 2007/2008 during my 1st pregnancy and Had worse sciatica pain with my second pregnancy 2008/2009 which also brought on numbness and tingling in my extremities. Once I had my son(2009),my symptoms seem to have progressed, which brought me to a chiropractor. After one month of chiropractic visits and having aggravated the situation. My chiropractor sent me to a spine specialist for an MRI, which resulted in a referral to a rheumatologist. I had Inflammation and damage in my SI Joints, was HLBA-27 positive, and had red flags in all inflammation markers and blood levels to Diagnose AS!
At 26 years old, I was diagnosed with AS! In the 7 years since, I have struggled through physical therapies, specialists, er visits, and countless medicines and still have not found any type of long term relief. I do my best to stay positive and keep it moving on a daily basis. I hope through awareness and research, AS will some day be cured.
New Jersey, United States of America