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Hello Everyonel, I'm very new to all this so please bare with me if I ramble on - I don't really know where to start.
I am a 31 year old female from the uk and 4 months ago I was diagnosed with A.S. Its been a pretty miserable and lonely few months as no one seems to understand how I feel. Isn't it such a difficult thing to explain? One day I can walk and live a fairly normal life - and the next I may be unable to do, well anything really.
I have had lower back pains for a few years now, and was repeatedly told by the GP that I had slipped a disc. I took all the medications the GP gave me such as painkillers and anti inflammatory meds, I spent hundreds, if not thousands of pounds seeing a chiropractor, went for all my physiotherapy appointments and continued doing the exercises assigned to me to help me with my "slipped disc". But I never seemed to get better. I was stuck on the floor for days at a time, not being able to meet my basic human needs such as getting to the bathroom or being able to cook. My partner would try to help me move but every time he went to lift me, my body would scream in pain and I would beg for him to leave me. One weekend it was so bad I was taken to our local A&E department, where the doctors told me to walk off the pain and take some over the counter painkillers. I begged the doctors at the hospital to give me a MRI, but this fell on deaf ears. A few days later I saw a different GP who said I hadn't slipped a disc and I had dislocated my SI joint. She said she could feel the dislocation and tried to manipulate the dislocation back in. I was sent on my merry way with more painkillers and more of an uncertainty as to what was wrong with me. As the weeks went on my neck, hands and knees were starting to get painful, again with regular visits to the GP. At last, months later I got referred to the Rheumatology team and after a MRI scan, blood tests and Xrays I got my diagnosis.
I'm still waiting to try the Anti TNF drugs, hopefully in the next month or so I will start. But I have so many questions and I don't know where to start. Not just about the drugs but about EVERYTHING.
Will I ever feel 'normal' again?
Would the manipulation from the Chiropractor have made things worse?
If the drugs work how long will it take for them to start?
I seem to be constantly 'flared' lately, does anyone else suffer for weeks at a time?
How do I stop the night sweats?
How do you walk/stretch/exercise when the flare up is so bad you have to walk with crutches or crawl everywhere? (If that's even possible).
I hope I haven't bored you, and I hope that I have explained things well enough for you to understand what a long, confused road I have had and its one that still seems to be ahead of me.
I could really use some advise if anyone out there could help?!
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