Ankylosing Spondylitis Stories

Alissa’s Fight Like a Girl Story (Ankylosing Spondylitis and Breast Cancer)


I am 35 years old, and in 2007, I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis. I was working two jobs and was constantly on my feet. I began to have problems walking all day. I could not get my feet to move like they were supposed to. I went to my doctor, and they tested me for gout. The test came back negative, so he sent me to a rheumatologist because he said he had no idea what was wrong. I went and saw the specialist, and they ran some test and said I had rheumatoid arthritis. I told them it had to be something more than that because the pain in my Achilles tendons was unbearable. So they ran another test, and and it came back positive for AS. She started me on Enbrel, which worked for about a year, and then I had to be switched to Humira. This is a fantastic drug and worked very well for me up until I got pregnant and had to be off all meds. In my case, I didn't need any while I was pregnant. I had never felt better. I had zero flare ups and felt amazing! After I had my son in … [Read more...]

Brianne’s Fight Like a Girl Story (Ankylosing Spondylitis)


My story begins about a year ago, the start of my sophomore year of high school. I had recently gotten the first of three Gardasil shots (which I never got the last of, due to getting sick and fear of it being caused from the shot) when I started developing these terrible migraines. My head felt like it was going to explode from the pain and pressure. After multiple trips to the emergency room and an appointment or two with a neurologist, they told me it was just migraines and gave me medication. The medicine I was given, sumatriptan or Imitrex, did nothing, if not making me feel worse. I was then prescribed Treximet, and sadly, I had the same results. Eventually, my neurologist prescribed me Fiorcet, which was what the ER doctor had also given me. My headaches died down immensely, and everything seemed to be be getting better. Around Halloween, my heart started acting up and would continue to from this time on. I missed the rest of my sophomore year. My blood pressure would be … [Read more...]

Sabrina’s Fight Like a Girl Story (Ankylosing Spondylitis)


My Fight Against A.S. I had a lot of trouble writing this –after all how do you write a story that has no ending. How do I describe this beast that lives within me and what it has put me through over the years? I still have no idea but for Cookie and awareness; I’ll do my best. -2007- It all started after a family road trip. I could feel it tightening with every mile but I had a dinner party planned that night and I was determined that if I just kept going the pain would go away. By the end of the party I knew it wasn't going to go away. I cleaned up and apologized to my guests then collapsed to the floor. I remained there the rest of the night. At first it was kind of funny that I pulled off this dinner party in all this pain. Then when it wouldn't go away the next day or the next day or the day after that I grew scared. I didn't know what this pain was but I knew I couldn't stay on the floor forever. Back to Work? I worked at a doctor’s office inside a local hospital … [Read more...]

Maia’s Fight Like a Girl Story as told by her mom, Lauren (Ankylosing Spondylitis)


I am actually writing this story for my 10 year old daughter Maia who was diagnosed with AS and more… My daughter Maia was born on November 17, 2002,through an IVF procedure. I lost her twin at 11 weeks and five days. Maia came into this world a fighter eight weeks early, she was supposed to be a Christmas baby. Maia was a healthy baby until the age of two. She began to have ear infections every few weeks, sinus infections, and finally ended up having three sets of tubes, sinus window surgery, and tons of antibiotics later to be told that it was ju st a stage, that her immune system just wasn't as strong as other kids. She went through many more bouts of infections and we saw infectious disease doctors, immunologists, allergists, ENT’s, and no one could find anything wrong with her. She got stronger and was basically healthy until 2010 when she started all over again with monthly ear, upper respiratory, and throat infections, as well as strep every other month. Maia was on a … [Read more...]

Leigh’s Fight Like a Girl Story (Ankylosing Spondylitis aka AS)


I am a mom, a wife, and I Fight Like a Girl! I was born with a congenital birth defect and spina bifida in 1962. The doctors told my mom to give me up and have another child. Fortunately, my mom would have nothing to do with that! I finally had an experimental surgery that corrected my birth defect and was able to walk at age 4. I had a case of strep throat that morphed into rheumatic fever at age 7 followed by yearly bouts for the next 7 years. My family never let me feel sorry for myself, nor treated me with kid gloves. I was taught at an early age to figure things out because of my limitations. At age 16 I was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis. I was told to exercise a lot and I would have a fighting chance. I fought for the next 34 years to be normal – and most people believe me to be normal. I rode my horse, I rode my bicycle, I help friends on their farms, I did all I could to prove I am strong and no different from anyone else. Then, in mid-May of this year I … [Read more...]