From a Happy Girl to a Depressed, Isolated Person

Last updated: August 2022

I don't know, I must be the only one writing about AS from Bangladesh. My AS symptoms began in October 2021. It hasn't even been a year, but God, I have never had to go through so much pain and stress within such a short period of time. I had dropped out of college several times in my early twenties, and when I finally thought, this is it! This is my chance to prove myself. I was doing great at college and was hopeful about a promising career, a beautiful marriage, my own family and kids etc. Since the pain began, I could hardly focus on my studies anymore. I looked everywhere for a way to complete my degree online, but I couldn't. University proved to be a difficult thing because I could hardly walk or sit down, let alone attend lectures and sit for hours
.
Even before that, my boyfriend decided to leave me because I was complaining about back pain all the time. I was really scared. As my pain got worse and I had to depend on my family for every little thing, I worried more and more. How was I going to take care of myself? Who would look after me when I'll be all alone? On top of that, I didn't get enough support from my family. I suffered from constant back and knee pain for 5 months but they kept telling me it was all in my head. I went to see a rheumatologist because I thought I had Fibromyalgia, he also confirmed it was fibromyalgia and prescribed me useless antidepressants. None of these worked and every month my pain only got worse.

I frantically changed doctors and spent all my savings on tests and medical bills. Finally, I found a rheumatologist that said I have Non-radiographic AS. I knew it must be AS because I saw the symptoms matched with what I found on google. He just gave me Sulfasalazine and NSAIDs. So, I've been taking those since May 2022. Guess what, I'm nowhere near recovery and I can't even go back to the doctor because I can hardly walk anymore. This is my story. I don't know if I'll survive this year if I continue to stay like this and if nobody ever takes me seriously. Hopefully, my rheumatologist will prescribe biologics this time so I can at least live.

With a serious chronic illness like AS, you need a supportive family and a positive attitude. I am fighting this illness all by myself with no help from anybody. Keep me in your prayers.
Promita

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