Ankylose This! Living with Ankylosing Spondylitis

Friday, January 13, 2006


Eight years ago today, I was formally diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis.

I'd been presenting symptoms for the preceding seven months, complaining to doctors about it for the preceding four months, and getting tests to figure out what the hell the problem was for the preceding two months. I'd learned the name "ankylosing spondylitis" a month before, and what it meant, and had begun taking naproxen instead of ibuprofen, earning me the most sleep I'd had in months.

I have now spent one quarter of my life with AS. In comparison with others, some of whom have gone years before being diagnosed, have had to fight with clueless physicians, or have had to deal with symptoms far more severe than mine, my case could have been much worse, then and now. I think I've got an average case: I know people whose AS is much worse than mine, and people for whom it is less severe. In no case is it ever easy.

Eight years is enough time to come to terms with it: in some ways, though, it's easier to cope with it, but harder to endure.

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