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  • Writer's pictureSandy Stec

So I Have An Auto-Immune Disease. Now What? (2.10.20)

Updated: Mar 5, 2020

And just like that, I got a pamphlet and an “auto-immune disease.”

First, that sounds a lot worse than it is. Let’s break this down. Disease = DIS-EASE. My body is out of whack, and currently, attacking itself. (My spine, to be exact) Hence, why NOTHING for the last 6 months has provided any relief for my back pain. And second, don’t even ASK me to pronounce “Ankylosing Spondylitis.” I’m not even gonna try.

In a nutshell, every single morning since last September has sucked. I’ve woken up with back pain that started in my lower back and gradually moved to my middle back and ribs. Sometimes 1am, sometimes 2 or 3. It would be a miracle if I could get back to sleep. I tried SO HARD to figure this out on my own. I bought a new mattress. An ergonomic desk, special pillows, and an embarrassing “cart” I roll to work every day. 60+ sessions from 3 different chiropractors. I’ve tried yoga, acupuncture, and massage. No matter what, the pain ALWAYS came back in the AM.

So, a trip to the rheumatologist, MRI’s and some bloodwork later…and here I am: a pill popper. Someone I never wanted to be. I’ll never forget hearing, “If you’re going to be taking these anti-inflammatories for the next 10 years…”Oh, the HELL I am! I will take them temporarily, as I am DESPERATE for sleep, but there is no way I will live the rest of my life like this. I refuse. I will keep searching for answers. I KNOW inflammation is caused in many ways and I will continue to research holistic, diet, and environmental factors that could also be contributing. (But God HELP me if I have to give up cheese….)

I’m curious, if you have an auto-immune disease/arthritis, etc, how you have coped and helped yourself heal? While this is not what I imagined, it was a GREAT relief to hear her say, "No, this isn't your fault."


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