A.S. Face 0350: Matt

Where do I begin?
I fell down concrete stairs when I was 15, I was racked with agony for a month but it did ease off….for a while anyway.
2 years later I was diagnosed with A.S. Regular sessions of Hydro/Physio were recommended. Yeah right, I was 17 years old!
I wanted to do what all 17 years boys want to do, work out, get a job and get laid! So I ignored what the Doctors said and I
threw myself into getting fit, Muay Thai, weight training, circuit training, sparring!!!
Did that for 6 quality years!
Of course…the good times rapidly came to an end! All the symptoms of A.S hit me like a freight train when I was about 23, my neck stiffened,
problems with my shoulders, my spine completeley fused and curved. I was always tired, in pain, always wondering why is it that I’m the only one with
this f*****g disease? By 26 I think my mood was so dark that I became a recluse…considered myself a freak!
Ha! A freak.
A little over the top perhaps but that is how I felt.
Also then on occasions i would have violent mood swings, I didnt know whether I was going to hit
something or break down in tears or both. Also I had to sell my house, sold on the friday which was pure luck as I was due in court on the following
Monday for a repossession order!
By the time I was 31, well, I think I had lost it. I had snapped and somehow plucked up the courage, made some phonecalls and visited a Rheumatologist.
I told him what was going on and that I had heard of the operation where they cut you open and straighten your spine…I told him I wanted it asap and I didnt care
about the risks.
4 months later Im in the Hospital on a bed heading for surgery
It was a success, the op straightened me up, Im on Humira, I exercise a lot. Now I just need a job! But even though the operation straightened my spine it certainly didnt
cure the condition. But I wouldnt go back to the way i was.
What I’m saying is, I know exactly how you guys feel…always remember that there is help.
Don’t do what I did…I am an example of what happens when you do the wrong things
A.S though? Who needs it?
Matt  (Age 36)

5 Responses to “A.S. Face 0350: Matt”

  1. I think you’re being to hard on yourself Matt. I’ve spent a lot of time, and honestly still spend a lot of time, putting my life on “rewind” and cursing all the things I did wrong in the past. But how were we to know? I too was a hiking, biking, skiing top physical shape kinda guy when I got cut off at the knees. I’ve often wondered if all that “wear and tear” led to AS. But unless we have a “delorean” to go back to the future in-it wasn’t our fault.

    The bitterness and anger is a part, I think, of all of us. When my AS went into mega flare way back when, I spiralled into a serious reclusion and depression. The freinds I still have left refer to it as “my breakdown”. I think that the initial AS flare does serious changes to “brain chemistry.”

    I think you’re past that Matt. I hope I am. What say you and me make peace with ourselves. AS is an old act.


  2. Cheers Derek! Peace it is!

  3. It’s a deal Matt!

  4. thanks for your story.

    matt (0270)

  5. Dear Matt,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.
    We can’t change yesterday, we only have today and hope for tomorrow. Happiness is forgiving yourself for being human.
    Remember from this day forward you are never alone.
    Sincerely Cookie

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