Cookie Hopper

Hello world, my name is Cookie. I am a born and raised Texan, please don’t hold that against me. July 21 2011, I will be turning fifty-two years old.

I have struggled with many illnesses over the years; to be truthful I don’t remember a time in my life I was ever well. I have had symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis since I was around ten years old, but was not diagnosed until 2002 when I was forty-three years old. I am currently on remicade for treatment of pain. I have been taking remicade since 2003. Unfortunately due to lack of knowledge, lack of understanding and not being my own advocate, the diagnoses and treatment came to late for me. I am completely fused from my neck to my tailbone, which means my head doesn’t turn or bend, nor does my body. Having Ankylosing  Spondylitis is very challenging, because you honestly have no clue from day-to-day, how this disease is going to affect you, honestly sometimes from hour to hour. It is a vicious cycle of ups and downs, flares, bad days, good days, happiness, and depression; to say the least it keeps you on your toes.

In 2009, I met Dr. Reville in Houston to participate in the studies, and the Spondylitis Association of America was introduced to me. I became a member and was introduced to a world of Aser’s just like me. It was wonderful to find a place that I was considered the “norm”. I have made a lot of wonderful friendships during the past few years, and have developed a special bond (fusing) with Kelly who is the author of Hurting But Hopeful, she is such a wonderful inspiration to others and me. I decided after reading her blog that I would take a chance and write one. Being able to express myself concerning my life with this disease has been one of the most healing things I have ever done. I have always enjoyed being creative in arts and crafts and painting but they have become difficult to do, so this fills that emptiness inside my soul. I’ve been reading such amazing stories that are so inspiring and touching. I was so mesmerized how could I not wish to be a part of this. I started my blogs in May 2011, and have committed a part of every day to writing; it has been very rewarding to me.

I confided in a close friend about the new adventure I was embarking on. She sat there quietly for a moment and then said, “Cookie, do you HONESTLY believe people are going to read this or care?” I replied, “ It isn’t important to me if anyone reads it, it is important to me to write it.”

My goal is to bring awareness, and understanding to people who have no clue about Ankylosing Spondylitis.

My desire is to make people who suffer with Ankylosing Spondylitis to know they are not alone, we do understand, we do care, and we will be here till our fingers are to stiff to type anymore.

My hope is that my family and friends will care enough to one day sit down and read every word that I struggled to type and learn about my life with Ankylosing Spondylitis.

My reward is that this brings peace and healing to my heart and soul,  and maybe yours too.

Thank you and God bless you all.

My Voice:        Cookie Has A. S.

Masquerade Of Words

We are a small group of people who suffer from Ankylosing Spondylitis who have been brought together through the Internet to join forces in bringing awareness to this silent disease. We have all agreed to write a weekly blog on different subjects to share with you, our struggles, fears, our hopes and our lives.
We appreciate your interest.
Our hope is that you will leave with a better understanding of Ankylosing Spondylitis
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