A.S. Face 0213: Andrew Elvin

My name is Andrew Elvin, and  31 years old from Norfolk, England. I haven’t explained my pain in detail, as we all know what that is like. I also haven’t explained how my illness affects my Fiancee as that is for her to tell. All I can say to her here is I am sorry that you’ve been sentenced to this.

I first felt pain in my back and hips when I was around 28 years old. It started off as a twinge in my lower back / hips. One day on the left, next day on the right. I used to work a tough job with unsympathetic bosses however I was strong and I could over-come it. When I felt pain I used to carry on as best as I could and try not to show weakness. Gradually over time the periods of pain would get more intense and take longer to go away. I visited the doctor on many occasions to be told I had just damaged the muscles in my lower back and rest would be the cure. I had pressure from work who thought I was being lazy and I absolutely hated being called that. Excuse me for not being positive in this story but my dreams have slowly disappeared one by one!

Before AS I spent my teenage years to my mid twenties being over weight, then one day I decided I would go for a little run. Running took hold of me. I would run late at night in the country, in the dark. I would get up before dawn to go running, I would run at any chance I could. I would sprint down country lanes, hop over ditches, splash through fords and watch the seasons change as the I had the world all to myself.

I had found at last the one thing that made me feel like a man. Nothing could affect me because when times were tough I would put on my running shoes, my woolly hat and my iPod and get myself on top of the world! I felt healthy, I was confident, I enjoyed my social life and my clothes fitted well. People treated me different, they gave me a little respect. I was unstoppable.

Then that pain came in my hip. The pain that consumed my body and my mind. The pain that has taken my soul, my passion, my toughness. It has taken all of my dreams!

Norfolk, England

9 Responses to “A.S. Face 0213: Andrew Elvin”

  1. Thank you,thank you Andrew for sharing this! Saying how it affects your dreams! I express this all the time and people just dont understand! Its just Jenn being negative again,life is what u make of it Jenn! I seriously want to shake the crap of people who say this to me! They have no idea! My dreams are gone due to A.S. so i understand!
    Thank you once agian for being honest and sharing this from A.S. face #0178

  2. Andrew… your last sentence was hard for me to read; it was like peering into a mirror. Sometimes, I’d tell myself that it’s a bad dream… only I don’t really “sleep” anymore. I’ve tried to rationalize & I found myself in denial; the reality slap snaps me out of it. My vision of the future was an endless void. The physical & mental torture consumed me. I’m overwhelmed! My doctor tells me to pray. I take it one day at a time… I’m afraid, no longer.

    The mind reels. My thoughts have turned into some sort of obssession. How much more of this living hell can I take? In my moment of despair, I reach out & rediscover my spirit.

    I pray for a miracle. My life is in the hands of a higher power. I pray for the inner strength to bravely meet each challenge. I believe in GOD & that He has a destiny for us to fulfill. We can be there for each other… to offer hope & compassion. This is our ultimate test of faith… to see what we are made of. I could not take another breath if it weren’t for our Creator. I place my trust in the Lord & His Will. It is there that I find the strength to continue. It is through Him that my eyes were opened & I finally awoke. Let Him into your heart & you will find your soul. Let Him guide you on your path through this life & beyond. I will keep you close in my thoughts & prayers… my wish being that you are healed on every level.

    GOD Bless you & yours,


  3. Andrew, I totally understand where you’re coming from. I really don’t know what to say except for hang in there and don’t give up. We can’t let AS win. I have to keep telling myself that everyday. (((hugs)))
    Marti (face 199)

  4. Mate any Time u wanna talk I’m here most of us have felt the same many times but u don’t want 2 give in seem week. I have as & fm I work full time have an 8 year old & a Forster daughter u get through it try the mineral in bath the r amazing there. Hope yr fell better soon xxx

  5. Thanks for your words everyone 🙂 It’s nice to know there are people to speak to who actually KNOW what’s going on.

    Shame our lives weren’t a film. At least we’d know we’d get a happy ending!

  6. I am sorry you cannot run! This pain we go through each day is our expression of strength. You are a strong MAN.

    Hang in there my friend.

  7. Dear Andrew,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. Please never feel you need to apologize for sharing your truth. That is what I wanted this site to be, the reality of our lives with this disease, the good, the bad and the truth.
    I do not believe that Ankylosing Spondylitis will ever get the true recognition and respect until it is made known what we go through. Thank you for helping me in my quest to do this.
    Sincerely Cookie

  8. Thanks for the story – I can relate well to the feeling of being defeated. My sweet husband thinks I will someday hike the mountains or snow-shoe again with him. He thinks if I start working out, I will “feel better.” This alone, makes me so sad. How do I explain to him I will never be “better!!” Live each day and be greatful for the little things. Thinking of you and all the Faces here!!

  9. Hey Andrew, sure pain is a bitch and life can be too but don’t give up on yourself. Not belittling what you experience but things could be a lot worse. Adversity gives us the opportunity to become stronger and better but the choice is always yours. Be grateful for the things you do have and don’t give in to becoming a victim to the circumstances of life.
    Keep on shining

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