Ankylose This! Living with Ankylosing Spondylitis

Friday, February 24, 2006

Faking AS, or just not looking sick enough

A Taiwanese pop star is being investigated over whether he faked illness to avoid compulsory military service. Jay Chou received an exemption in 1999 based on a diagnosis of -- I bet you saw this one coming -- ankylosing spondylitis. "Chou, 27, has been seen on TV programs and movies to have engaged in highly strenuous physical activities. ... A medical expert said the patients of such spinal a disease normally show no obvious physical signs on appearance. But it is necessary for them to maintain proper physical exercises in order to prevent the continuous deterioration of the conditions."

I guess the Taiwanese government is going after pop stars who try to welch on the draft, but, leaving aside the question of whether or not Chou is faking, I'm a little nervous. After all, we rarely look sick enough to have special accommodations made for us. Those of us with AS don't necessarily look as frail as we feel, and are frequently more active than people with crippling arthritic conditions are expected to be (mind you, that's because we have to be). But on the other hand, that's what might make it a good alibi. I hope the question is whether Chou is faking it, not whether AS is prima facie evidence of malingering -- Lord knows I've seen enough of the latter in my time.

Comments on this post

  • wow this is shocking because jay chou is a really famous singer in asia... its like the equivalent of... mmm robbie williams... and I would never have imagined jay chou has AS... if he wanted to malinger... he sure chose the wrong excuse...

    Posted by Blogger Monkey (3/25/2006 3:05 AM)  

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