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How do you respond when someone unfamiliar with AxSpa questions your change of plans?

Sometimes we might respond calmly; other times may be more defensive. Do you have a go-to response? Do you use it as a time to educate? Let's vent!

  1. I quit explaining why I can’t make a dinner or parties. I just send a message saying I’m not going to make it. I don’t think people who don’t have AS understand what happens when I’m down. It’s disappointing that people don’t understand. I used to get depressed and worried about my friends and family not understanding. Now I concentrate on myself and self care and I make it when I can to friends and family events. Chin up and move forward is all you can do everyday.

    1. ,
      I love your perspective!
      AxSpa can be so unpredictable, we can't worry about what others may think but focus on oneself and keep moving forward.
      Thanks so much for chiming in.
      Be well, Doreen (Team Member)

  2. This is a fantastic topic. Especially now that Spring 2024 has sprung and we plan to get out and about while the weather is agreeable. When I need to change or cancel plans, I try my best to respond with patience, understanding, and openness. Understandably, those unfamiliar with AS may not fully grasp the challenges and unpredictability of the condition. I would explain that AS is a chronic inflammatory arthritis that can affect various aspects of my life, including mobility, energy levels, and overall well-being. I might share some basic information about AS to help them understand why flexibility in plans is sometimes necessary. Here is an article that may help others who struggle to describe this chronic illness - https://axialspondyloarthritis.net/living/explaining-friends Another link to an article that can help start the conversation because, Yes it can be difficult - https://asif.info/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Discussion-guide_Print.pdf Wishing all a low pain month ahead. Thoughtfully, Rebecca (team member)

    1. I try to tell them why I have to cancel. But it's gotten to the point my friends have stopped asking or calling to invite me to events. This is very sad and hard for me to understand since we were all so close. But I guess some people just don't want to bother to understand. I will get through this working on it.

      1. I am reading this and I can understand what you are going through and feeling. I think many of us on here can relate to having many around us not understanding how we don't always know how we will feel. This is disease can be unpredictable and different for everyone.


        Have you tried showing your friends maybe more what the Axspa is all about? Or maybe some articles? Sometimes it takes time for others to understand and see what it's all about.


        Sending you warm hugs,


        Nicky (Team Member)

      2. Have you tried hosting at your house? If they are good friends they won’t care if it is a mess. They come to see you. I used to cancel more and now I don’t as much because I am finding that a lot of times I am going to hurt no matter what so I might as well go be around people. I get it though.

    2. I tell people up front that due to my illness I may have to change plans at any given time. I ask if that is going to work for them. Because I can not know how I will be, but will tell them as soon as I know. I also say it works both ways. It is my honest best ~

      1. I like this approach. Thanks for sharing such a great tip!
        Anne-Marie (Patient Leader)

      2. Hi
        I know how hard this can be. But I think this is the best way about being honest with others. I started to do the same letting other know I will try answering more near the date even though that also can change up to the last minute or even getting there sometimes. How are you feeling today?


        Nicky (Team Member)

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