Meet Rachel

June 2012, a normal day like any other. School, work, homework…little did I realize that that day would change my life forever.

My eye was extra sensitive this day and stung a little bit, my friends all said I had pink eye so I booked an appointment with the doctor. He referred me to a specialist saying I had ‘Iritis’ but of course I had no idea what this was. When the specialist explained what it was I was shocked. ‘Arthritis in my eye?’ He asked if I’d had any sore joints and immediately I remembered I’d been having a bit of trouble with my right hip.

My specialist then sent me to another specialist, a rheumatologist, who immediately suspected AS. he did a few tests which came back positive for AS. It definitely explained my painful hips and why I ended up in the hospital the month before with crippling pain in my back.

He initially prescribed Voltaren, but after a pretty massive flare, swollen knee and a flare of iritis I went back and he changed my medications to Naprosyn and decided to put me on Methotrexate. This scared the life out of me. All I’d heard about Methotrexate was that it was a cancer drug which was in itself enough to scare me off, but my friends and family continued to support me and encouraged me to try it.

I’m only up to my second dose so a while yet to see improvement.

As far as school goes, some days I find it very difficult. Fatigue takes over my body and I can’t focus or concentrate, but I’m getting used to having AS and I’m slowly settling back into life. It’s hard sometimes especially when people look at you and say you don’t look sick, but I always have a smile and always persevere.

This is now my life,
By Rachel.