My name is Faishal Alawi, I am from Malaysia. I have had AS since 2010. It all started in March 2010 right after I got back from a holiday in Bandung, Indonesia. I was having a bad diarrhea for a week and one fine Sunday when I wake up, I was unable to move. All my joints are painful every time I tried to move. Luckily I have my mobile phone next to me and I called a friend. He came over and rushed me to the emergency room at a nearby hospital. For a month I was bed ridden at the hospital and the doctors are still unable to find out what is wrong with me. I was in pain all the time. I was constantly on painkillers. Only after the HLA-B27 blood test done that I know that I am a gene carrier and I am AS positive. I was so depressed at that time when the doctors told me that I have AS. Starting that day I was on med daily (Sulfasalazine & Acoxia daily, MTX weekly). My joints (ankle, knee, elbow, neck & back) are all swelling and I am in pain everyday. For seven months I was on clutches(both hands). I went for physiotherapy sessions almost every week. As I am doing my Master Degree at a local university nearby, life is hard for me. Everyday routine is hard for me. Even simple things like switching off the light is a tough thing to do. In October 2010 the meds i am taking start showing positive results. I was able to walk without clutches. There are less pain. I start going to the gym to workout and went swimming on a daily basis. Only a constant exercise can help me reduce my joints stiffness. I was 80% recovered. In August 2011 after a discussion with my rheumatologist, I decided to stop the daily meds and go for Remicade Infliximab Infusions. First infusion was done but was giving me side effects. I was hospitalised for five days due to Bradycardiac (low pulse). The doctors then decided not to proceed with the remaining infusions. So i was back to daily meds. In December 2011 I was 98% recovered from AS. I only have some pains on my left hand knuckles. I stop taking meds and focus on daily exercise. Now I can swim, jogs, travels and do stuffs like other healthy human being.
I got married to my lovely wife in January 2012 and now (August) my wife is seven week PREGNANT… yes, I am going to be a Dad! …hope my story inspires all of you with AS… it’s not the end of the world… take your meds & constantly exercise…. swimming is preferred… cheers!
FAISHAL ALAWI Malaysia