Ankylosing Spondylitis Stories

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

Blue Ribbon

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)

Leigh's Story (AS) LR

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...]

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

Blue Ribbon

Hi, my name is Jessica. I am 17 years old, and I have been diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis. I am the forth generation to have A.S in my family. My great grandfather had to be wheelchair bound before he died. His daughter (my grandmother) had surgery on both knees and on one of her shoulders. My father also has A.S (grandmother’s son). His neck and spine are fused together, he can hardly move his neck. His condition is not stopping him from working or finding work everyday. My father does construction, so no matter how much he hurts he will keep going to support the family. Now for myself, I've been diagnosed for a couple of months. I am going through the first stages, such as pain and stiffness. Last week I had an x-ray, and the results showed that my hips are fusing together. It is really sad because when I get older and get married (depending how my joints are) I might not be able to have a child. I know that I have a long road ahead of me before that time, so let the … [Read more...]

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

Blue Ribbon LR

I have been through a lot throughout my life. When I was eight I was molested and raped by a family friend. At 16 I was ganged raped. I was raped again when I was 17 by my so called boyfriend. I went through a lot of counseling throughout my life in order to deal with all of it. I've not only suffered mentally but also physically with migraines, back pain and eczema/psoriasis. I am now 33 years old. I have been diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis disease, psoriatic arthritis, chiari malformation, bipolar disorder, manic depression and eczema/psoriasis. It's not a lot of fun. I take too much medication, and I am in pain. I work a part time job that I really love and refuse to give up for disability. I know I am still capable of working right now. It beats staying home and feeling sorry for myself! I fight every morning to get out of bed. I have three kids that I fight to get up for. They are my life and my motivation. Without them I'd probably just give up. But I fight like a … [Read more...]

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

Blue Ribbon LR

As a young girl I was always ill. I was not always sick, I just never felt good. I always had a pain that I could never explain, my body didn't move like other's, and people always said that I walked funny. In 1980, I found out I had a heart condition,  it was nothing major. After years and years of the pain, and doctors not finding anything, it was making me think I was crazy. This was about the time I wanted to give up trying.  Then in 1998, I found a doctor that did one simple blood test and it came back that I had AS – ankylosing spondylitis. I am sure this is the answer I wanted to hear, not so! My pain increased slowly, but I was still functional until 2005. I then started breaking out in a rash on my hand's, feet, palm's, and my sole's. It felt like they were on fire and blistered. I couldn't wear socks, much less my shoe's.  I couldn't open bottles or doors. I felt like such a mess, but the doctors said I had poison ivy. After about 6 months of this,  I found a fabulous … [Read more...]

Julie’s Fight Like A Girl Story (Ankylosing Spondylitis)

Julie's Story (Ankylosing Spondylitis)LR

I was 14 years old when my pain started. I suddenly felt like I was in the body of a 80 year, old-hobbling around. I started seeing sports doctors because I was playing basketball at the time. The only thing that doctor did was inject cortisone to help with the pain. I saw chiropractors, did physical therapy, and prayed that we would be able to figure it all out. When I was 16, I started having problems in my shoulders. I had surgery and hoped that it would make everything better. It helped for a few months and then took a turn for the worse. Eventually all my joints began to hurt; ankles, knees, hips, upper and lower back, shoulders, jaw. When it went into my hands, I knew that there was something wrong. After giving up on all other doctors to find answers, I finally saw a rheumatologist. I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, which is an auto immune that attacks the joints and causes fusion. It's life long and has no cure. I’m thankful that I finally received an … [Read more...]

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

Sherri's Story (AS) LR

Have you ever heard of ankylosing spondylitis (AS)? My guess is no, because I had never heard of it until I was diagnosed with it. AS is an auto-immune disease mixed within a sea of many auto-immune diseases,which most you’ve probably never heard of either. I hesitated when I thought about writing about this disease and my story, because quite frankly, it’s kind of a bummer to talk about. And as a busy hairstylist, the last thing I want are clients fearing that I’m sick or hurting and not come to see me anymore. But then I realized I was being silly, and how important it is for me to help spread the word about AS. There is so little information out there about this disease, and if only sufferers got diagnosed when onset starts, there would potentially be much less disability and depression associated with having a degenerating disease. So to explain AS in simple terms, it is a disease located around the SI joint. To get diagnosed you need to get lots of blood work, x-rays, MRI’s, … [Read more...]

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

Colleen's Story (Ankylosing Spondylitis)

I grew up in Vermont. In May 1985 I was 10 yrs old. It was the end of the school year. We had what was called field day. All the kids had to be outside and they had sports, activities, a bbq, and even a walk/run thru the woods. In the early 1980’s the high-schoolers thought it was fun to prank the elementry school with bomb threats. It happend so much it was crazy. Well, on this particular day, they brought our buses to us because we were outside. I sat down to wait for my bus and I noticed my right ankle was hurting me. I tried to get the teachers attention but she was busy trying to get the kids to their buses. Well, when I got home I told my mom. I’m the youngest of 4 kids. There are 9 years difference between me and my sister, 7 years between me and my brother, and 2 years between me and my sister. The oldest had faked a sprained ankle for attention. My mom thought I was faking too. She had my brother who was 16, almost 17, check my ankle and he did. He told her it was hurt. I grew … [Read more...]