How I’ve Changed

I think I’ve had AS forever.

When I was 16 or so, my hips clicked all the time. I was told I have the gene HLA-B27 in my early 30s, but nothing came of that. I had lower back pain, went to a specialist, and went on my way thinking, "Mmmmm!"

Twenty years later, two shoulder operations, one hip replacement. My hands look awful. I've always had golfer's elbow and tennis elbow. I was diagnosed with Osteoarthritis by one Rheumatologist, and then I went to another Rheumatologist. She actually did other tests that took longer than a standard appointment, and voila! I have AS. I could have been getting treatment years ago, but no. Other doctors are too busy and don't look deep enough. Just another person with a sore back!

Anyway, I'm a bit grouchy now. I can't do much. I've lost my love of life and adventure. If you have ankylosing spondylitis, you may be familiar with the pain of ENTHESITIS, an inflammation where tendons and ligaments attach to the bone. This is the main pain I have all the time. When I sit and get up, it hurts so much I feel like a cripple. It's difficult to walk, and I sometimes use a walking stick. I have a disability carpark.

Does anyone have any recommendations on what they do? I'm so over the pain. I'm not the person I used to be, and it makes me so sad.

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