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GETTING DIAGNOSED

SUPER: Noel Ankylosing Spondylitis Patient

NOEL: I was experiencing pain in my hips and the sacroiliac joints and it would kind of change from left side to rightside. It would last you know, maybe a week or two at a time.

SUPER: Noel first had symptoms in his hips and sacroiliac joints

Cut to Sarah SUPER: Sarah Ankylosing Spondylitis Patient

SUPER: AS can take several years to diagnose

NOEL, continued: It was come and go, never got extremely severe but, you know, there were actually periods of several years where I never felt anything. And I believe that that was most likely some early symptoms.

SUPER: Symptoms can appear in areas beyond the lower back

NOEL, continued: What finally got me thinking that there’s something more was a rather sudden onset of pain in my lower back and hips.

Cut to Sarah

NOEL, continued: Physically, I was extremely tired. I was not sleeping through the night to any great extent.

SUPER: Fatigue is a common symptom

NOEL, continued: You know, cumulative fatigue just continued to build and…

Cut to Noel

NOEL, continued: ... all of a sudden, I was mad at myself, you know: Why can’t I keep up with what I was before?

SUPER: Seeing a rheumatologist is an important step to getting a diagnosis

NOEL, continued: And that point I went to see my primary care doctor and we started off several months of investigation for referrals in order to finally, eventually, end up at a rheumatologist.

INTERTITLE: How did you feel after you were diagnosed with AS?

Cut to Noel, then Sarah reacting

SUPER: Many people have never heard of ankylosing spondylitis (AS)

NOEL: So, when my rheumatologist first mentioned that I had AS, I had to ask him, “What is that?” It was a word I’d never heard of before. You know, and I think the unknown just provoked fear instantly.

Cut to Noel and Sarah (reacting)

SUPER: A diagnosis can bring mixed emotions

NOEL, continued: There was this shock of what, you know, is this something that’s life threatening? How will it change my life?

What will I not be able to do? All these questions that came up and initially it was a very scary moment.

Cut to Noel

NOEL, continued: How was your experience when you were first diagnosed?

Cut to Sarah

SUPER: It can be a relief to finally have a diagnosis

SARAH: For me, it was kind of a relief to have a name to what was going on for me because…

Cut to Sarah B-roll

SARAH, continued: …basically, they didn’t have a definitive answer to what was going on.

Cut to Sarah

SARAH, continued: So, it felt good to be able to like kind of say like this is what it is and now here’s our treatment/kind of plan.

Cut to Sarah and Noel

SARAH, continued: And it felt good to be able to tell people, “Here, this is what’s going on for me; this is what I have.” It’s a definite as opposed to just kind of a kind of nebulous concept.

NOEL: Yeah. That’s an excellent perspective and I would agree with you there that I felt like it was…

SARAH: Yeah, it’s nice to know what it is.

SUPER: Diagnosis led Noel to learn about AS...

NOEL: Yeah. It was also…now it gave me something to actually learn about.

SUPER: ... and seek appropriate treatment

SARAH: Yeah, a jumping-off point.

NOEL: To research. Exactly.

END CARD: Talk to an AS specialist. Find a rheumatologist today >