I am 23, mother to a 2 1/2 year old boy, wife, student and I work at a bar a few days a week. After a car wreck when I was 17 an x-ray of my spine showed old damage to the lumbar area of my spine but I was raised in a family of seven (all 3 daughters have AS) and unless you were bleeding profusely of fixing to die you just sucked it up. When the pain became so severe I couldn't walk without help (right after my son was born) I was diagnosed with AS, but didn't start Enbrel until about 6 weeks ago.
The pain from sitting in class for hours is second only to my shifts at the bar standing for 6+ hours. After every single class I have to stand VERY slowly as my knees tend to give out on me. This is all aside from the obvious exhaustion that everyone with AS experiences. Thank God I have a husband that understands I need a minimum of ten hours of sleep every night to function as a normal person.
All in all, normal life is really hard not to mention school! What makes it even harder is that the pain and exhaustion we endure isn't visible to others, my stepfather regularly accuses us of over-exaggerating for attention (Seriously?) Trying to go to school, work, heck even getting out of bed often is hard. The way I look at it is I will be so much prouder of what will I accomplish because its not easy for anyone, and so much harder for me.