Ankylose This! Living with Ankylosing Spondylitis

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Hip replacement surgery

I was diagnosed with AS in 1986, after nine years of preclinical manifestations (uveitis, bouts of joint pain, twinges, etc.) I had both hips replaced in November, 1995, after having spent about 18 months on a walker or in a wheelchair. My doctors said that my case was unusually aggressive, especially because I am a woman. I am convinced that the deterioration of my hips was precipitated by the amount driving that I was doing (47 miles each way to work) combined with the stresses of a corporate middle management job, parenting, housework, and supporting a spouse who found himself downsized by the defense cuts resulting from the end of the Cold War. The hip surgeries gave me back the ability to walk, for which I am grateful. The pain I endured before and after the experience has taught me empathy and have demanded that I develop patience. Not much more to say than that.

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