Joint Journey - a Column by Jemma Newman

In a surprise life twist, Jemma and her husband were both diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis in their 30s. Her column, “Joint Journey,’ combines a carer’s perspective with personal insights, diving into the realities and challenges of dealing with this joint-wrecking chronic disease.

My smile hid a life challenged by invisible illness

Scrolling through the camera roll on my phone, I stumbled across a photo of myself with a wide smile. My makeup looked flawless and my body slender and strong, but I could see that the smile didn’t reach my eyes. Instantly, my mind flashed back to 2020, when the image…

Yes, ankylosing spondylitis is found in women, too

I sat nervously in the doctor’s chair, desperate to know what could be causing my nighttime back pain. I hadn’t yet been diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis (AS), and all I knew then was that the maximum dose of over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication couldn’t help me sleep past 2 a.m.