A.S. Face 0270: Matthew Joy
Was diagnosed with AS roughly 10 years ago after more than a few trips to the doctors in my late teens. in the end, it was my first and very severe bout of iritis, which hospitalised me for a few days that made the doctors take me more seriously. i have since had mri confirmation and am currently taking humira and sulphasalazine as well as diclofenac.
I made the mistake of stopping treatment for a while a few years back as i thought i was better after having taken sulphasalazine for a few years and felt alot better. i didn’t like the idea of taking these drugs forever and thought they would do me harm…..big mistake!
I also got too heavily into drinking during all of this, which became a big problem of its own and didn’t help me to deal with my problems. numbing your body is a great way to mask symptoms of pain and make you too lethargic and apathetic to really look after yourself.
Those days are gone now and i am back seeing the specialist doctor and doing what i am told.
Like everyone, in the beginning there were scary stories, not being able to walk properly, very stiff neck and burning back pain in my lower back. buttock pain, iritis, morning stiffness, costochondritis, etc etc, i had the lot! at the time i thought it was all in my head and the eventual diagnosis was, if nothing else, a relief from that.
I still get tired very easily these days and suffer with anxiety which may or may not be related in some way to the as. i certainly have lost alot of sleep over the years.
I have a wonderful partner who is very understanding of my situation, i am very lucky (lucky lucky!).
Thanks for reading if you got this far! Matt Joy (Dorset, England).