My AS Story
G'day mates , I'm a 41 year old Aussie who has had A.S. since my teens. I was a very fit and physical person with a hell of an active life racing dirt bikes, stock cars, I managed to reach second degree black belt in 'wing chun -iron palm' kung fu. I worked as a butcher when I left school and traveled by 750cc bike everywhere. But while all this was going on I had mystery pains all the time that I could not explain. Such as very swollen and tender heels, which forced me to cut the backs out of all my shoes and walk on my toes for 18 months. Among other pains I contracted Iritis at the age of 21 and the specialist kept asking how my back was. ''The ****** back's fine mate just fix me eye will yah'' . As at this stage the back was fine. It was the inflamation of the knees that gave me hell for ages. I had 3 treetments of radioactive itrium injected, which helped aliviate the pain for a while.
When I hade an arthroscopy on my knee the surgeon found I had Arthritis and put me onto a rumo' .By now I was 26 and finally diagnosed and carrying the hla-b27 positive gene. Exrays were taken of my sacrum and showd tell tail signs of AS, but my back was only stiff after sitting in a car after work. By this time I was working the family farm as well as shearing sheep for a living) Which ment I spent all day with my head lower than my bum and dragged a dead wheight of about 130 lb backwards 140 times a day.
By the time I was 29 I could not walk as the pain was too bad in my right
hips. In the space of 3 years my hips went from perfect to absolutely
*******ed and had to be replaced. 3 years later the knees were replaced.
3 more years and my left shoulder was replaced. So at 33 I had 5 artificial
Every medic I went to said that I have this A.S. very aggressively and
with all the fruit (symtoms) The only anti-inflamitries that work are
voltaren, I am also on Arava and I take 10mg of prendisalone every second
day. Without this I cannot walk let alone get out of bed.
I got sick of every one telling me 'to go on a pension'- 'get on sickness benifits' - you should'nt be doing that in your condition' So I gave up farm work when I was 36 and started my computer sign business from home, making signs, banners etc as well as that I taught myself to use the Airbrush as well as that I turned my hobby of cartooning into a side of the business. Keeping active without over doing it is the key to survival. Watching videos or tv on the weekend is a no-no for me.
I used to be able to put my chin on my shins now I can't reach my shins
with my hands. I would be the complete opposite to my former self, but
I am happy with life in my little town, just doing what I can do. When
I lose my sense of humour I will be in trouble.