Pamela is a former Division I athlete and current J.D. Candidate who was diagnosed with non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis in 2018. She also lives with chronic pain and spinal injuries from her previous athletic career. Though the journey to diagnosis was relatively quick, she has been unable to find a treatment to control her nr-AxSpA for the past 3 years. This has included four separate drug trials, countless MRIs and X-rays, and injections into trigger points and joints. This chaos and confusion have been manageable because of the support from family and friends and the network of spoonies she has found online, through her Instagram account, @_LifeWithAS_.
The adjustment to living with nr-AxSpA has been a challenge for Pamela, as her life previously revolved around being active at a highly competitive level. She remains consistently active as a means to control her inflammation and pain primarily with cycling and light weight lifting. Finding the balance between staying active and not overdoing it with nr-AxSpA is difficult, but Pamela still looks forward to moving her body daily.
Pamela is currently pursuing her Juris Doctorate at Fordham University School of Law, planning to graduate in 2022. She graduated magna cum laude from Colgate University in 2019 with a double major in Peace and Conflict Studies and Latin American Studies. She is passionate about advocating for accommodations for individuals with varying disabilities and is involved with a disability advocacy group in law school.
Pamela is thrilled to be part of the Health Union family and being able to continue connecting with others in the community. Resources such as these have been incredibly important to her in coping with life with chronic pain and illness, so she is looking forward to helping others do the same. She is particularly interested in advocating for a dynamic understanding of chronic illness and disability that allows individuals with autoimmune disease to continue living their lives as actively and normally as possible.
Click here to read all of Pamela’s articles on AxialSpondyloarthritis.net.