My name is Matt. I’m 32 years old and live in Brighton in the UK. When I was 22 I suffered extreme pain in my left hip which made me immobile. After 3 months of hydrotherapy I could walk unaided again, the Rheumatologist I saw back then diagnosed me with Segonegative arthritis and placed me on Sulfasalazine.
Gradually the dosage reduced and in 2006 I was taken off the medication as my body had showed great signs of improvement. In 2009 I started to suffer from severe fatigue, plus various other ailments and seemed to going to my GP frequently only to be brushed off with printouts from the internet…
My diagnosis of AS came about in a very strange way, firstly I knew my back had always been tight so I tried Pilates and I got good and bad news from the instructor. The good news was my core muscles were there but I needed to see an Osteopath as my back was locked.
The private healthcare I had covered alternative therapy but needed a GP referral. I went back to the doctors for this and saw someone new who refused to give me the referral and instead arranged for me to have blood tests and x-rays as he believed I had AS.
The tests confirmed this. I was finally diagnosed by the Rheumatologist in July last year. I have bad days but equally make sure I fully take advantage of the good days as I do not know when the next one will come.
This may sound strange but being diagnosed with AS was one of the best days I ever had as it has felt great knowing I was not a hypochondriac and the symptoms I suffered from were caused by AS.
Thank you for reading