My daughter was the first diagnosed in her early 20s thanks to a sharp eye doc (multiple bouts of iritis since childhood) who sent her to the best rheumy at our teaching hospital. She was HLA-B27 negative. When this rheumy started seeing the rest of us, he said there was really no need to test the rest of us as she was negative; he felt we fell into the pool of folks who were negative on this test, but a quick look at our x-rays and MRIs told the real story. We've even had our blood work indicate no inflammation, even while LOOKING at a measurably swollen joint. My son's rheumy used to "love" to pull blood from him whenever he was healing from something broken...she claimed the boy had alien blood since he never (nor any of us) shows numbers outside the normal range.
Kim: finishing the PhD SOMETIME in 2013! Dx'd with Undifferentiated Spondyloropathy (officially!) in October 2010 and gastroperesis in August 2011, now adding Sjorgren's and VERTIGO to the mix. Mom to 1 daughter with AS (on FULL disability), and 2 sons with UDiff (1 a graphic designer-freelance and 1 an elite level soccer player). Taking Enbrel (Oct. 2012) and Sulfasalezine (spring? 2011)