Hi all,

My success story is a short one.

At the KA party in Las Vegas, July of '99, I finally had time to sit and talk to Dragonslayer about the diet. By the time I got home my mind was made up and so was my determination. It was either bite the bullet and throw starch out of my life or eat a bullet and throw my life away. Not much of a choice so I went into my kitchen and threw away everything. Then I spent most of the day walking isles, reading labels and testing food at my local supermarket. I found that starch was everywhere I looked. I had no idea that starch could be hidden in so many foods. Pretty discouraging but I didn't give up. Since I grew up eating healthy rather than tasty foods and less rather than more, I decided on a simple diet...meat, salads, almonds, cheese were pretty much it. Within 30 days I felt wonderful. No more flares that had my crying for release...none.

I remained on the strict NSD for 1 full year, then I added just a bit of starch...I added rice to my dinner menu three time a week. No problem. Then I added a bit more one slice of teast when I had eggs. Still no problem. I remained on the LSD for another year and remained flare free. On my third year, I ate anything I wanted but, being used to a diet low in starch, I pretty much remained SLSD (Somewhat Low Starch Diet)and I remained flare free. Today, after 6 years, I'm healthy, symptom free and rarely even think about how much pain I was in before the diet.

I know my degree of success is rare, but not out of reach. After telling my life story to Dragonslayer, I learned that I had three things going for me.

1. I was raised by a mother who taught home economics in high school and was very controling when it came to my diet. No candy, few starchy fillers like potatos, bread, dinner rolls, etc. Birthdays were the only time cake was served and there was NO eating between meals. In fact, the kitchen was off limits when my parents weren't home. I didn't know it at the time but my father was too sick to work much and school teachers weren't well paid so our's was a poor home. When we got hungry, we filled up on fruit...our after school snacks were fruit, breakfasts were mostly oatmeal and fruit, most deserts were fruit in some form or another. I grew up in Orange County, CA where fruit was just a tree away. Oranges mostly but when is season, peaches, loquats, aprocots, lemons, Grapefruit and Persimmons were always available in someone's backyard

2. When I was 13, my family moved from Orange county to the lower desert town of Palm springs, CA. For about 8 months of the year the temepratures were in the mid 80's to over 110 degrees. This was in the late 50's so instead of sun block, we poured on a mixture of baby oil and iodine. Our afterschool uniform was a pair of cutoff levis. Most of the time we didn't wear shirts. After growing up, becoming a firefighter and retiring because of AS, I returned to Palm Springs and started a swimming pool service and repair business. Once again I spent my days in the sun wearing only shorts and no sun block. All this meant an overload of sunshine Vitimin D, which was another plus for my fight with AS.

And 3. My father broke his back in the late '30's. This kicked his AS into gear and in a very short time he was completely fused with only a few degrees of motion in his neck. Back then the doctors were about as unprepared to treat AS as they are today except the only drugs used were NSAIDs. At at end of my father's shortened life he suffered, not from the pain of AS as much as the damage those [**BLEEP**] NSAID's caused. I watched as, one by one, his organs failed until, finally there was nothing left and he died. When I was diagnosed with AS it was the first time I had ever heard the words Ankylosing Spondylitis (My dad had Marie Strumples Disease:) or had the disease explained to me. I remember two thoughts that kept running through my head...I'm going to die like my dad and I'll NEVER take those drugs. But I did...for a year. No help, never took them again. Because I refused to take NSAID's, my gut remained intact so the invasion of Klebsella was weak at the start.

That's it. Good luck and good eating