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 answer, but I knew it was a rather harrowing answer.
This will be something I will fight the rest of my life. But I’m determined to fight like a girl and make the best out of my experience.
I’m a happy 18 year old girl living life to its fullest. I’m surrounded by amazing people, especially my boyfriend, who is my everything and my constant support. My disease does not define me. I define myself.
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.