I had just given birth to a healthy 8 pound baby boy, unknowing that I was waking up a health demon!
It was 29 years ago on June 12th that I gave birth to my one and only healthy and handsome son. Two weeks later, I got up out of bed to use the toilet. The urgency to pee was strong, so up I got out of my waterbed and headed to the bathroom.
Pain like never before
I took maybe 5 steps and stopped suddenly in my tracks. Something was extremely wrong with my body. A pain like I’ve never experienced before gripped me up and I couldn’t move any part of my body without extreme pain as my body performed charlie horses (muscle spasms) throughout my 5’4 frame.
I slowly yet painfully backed my footstool up and sat down on my bed and urinated. I sat there terrified and crying. Tears fell down my cheeks as I tried to not inhale or exhaled with complete breaths! I was paralyzed in pain and fright! What is wrong with me, was all I could think.
What am I going to do?
A mother of two little girls and a newborn son, I was on my way to living my dream life. I had just been hired on my dream job and newly engaged. Now, I couldn’t even walk over to my baby’s crib to retrieve him! What was I going to do! I called my fiancée home from work.
I went to several doctors over the next 6 months, none of who could diagnose me. After many negative tests and no answers to my debilitating condition, I was admitted into the hospital fir more tests. Finally an elderly retired doctor came into my hospital room and informed me that after hearing about my case, he may know what was wrong with me and would confirm it with blood work.
Relieved to have an answer
I was a little relieved and prayed he find the problem that had me contemplating suicide. The next day that same doctor came back to see me and told me I had a condition called a ankolosing spondylitis. I was so thankful and relieved to know what was wrong with me and why I couldn’t walk, or even be touched without severe pain and spasms all over my body!
I now had an answer to what took my ability to be independent, subjecting me to a portable toilet and a walker and wheelchair. A disease that I was told was considered a Caucasian male disease. I’m a black/multiracial woman. I learned that I may have inherited the disease from my Caucasian great grandfather of who I was unfamiliar with and surprised to learn of.
Til this day, I’m still dealing with complications of this disease at the age of 53. I’m still researching and taking steps like back surgery to help me with severe back/spinal issues.
Other than back pain and fatigue, what is the most common symptom that AS patients experience?