A.S. Face 0352: Pete Austin

I was diagnosed with AS in 1984,when i was 26 , although I had plenty of signs( which went unnoticed or were ignored by my  family doctor) as early as 1977, when i was 19, such as two bouts of uveitis ( I was just given the steroid drops and atropine drops ) ,plus sciatica type pains in my lower back and hips..
Although my back got stiffer and was often very painful ,I managed to work as a painter and decorator until 1997, despite the pain and discomfort. I found the stretching to paint ceilings etc good for my AS.
In 1995, I had a serious car crash ( not my fault!) which resulted in a rapid downturn in my physical abilities and a major 2 year flare up of my A S.
I stopped working in 1997 and the department of social security doctor who examined me asked why i had left it so long before giving up work.
i told him that i was determined to pay my way in life for as long as possible and that i didn`t want to become a “social scrounger”. I got told off by him for calling myself that!
15 years and 3 more non fault car accidents later, my AS is having a big impact on my life and i struggle to go fishing ( my lifelong hobby) and can only go if my friends go with me.
Going out socialising is difficult,as i cannot drink standing up and cannot sit for very long unless surrounded by cushions, even then it`s uncomfortable!
Travel is difficult and i only travel places by car if the journey is less than an hour.
I`ve started etanercept tnf blocking injections, which seem to have helped me a bit.hopefully i won`t develop severe side effects as i did with Humira and infliximab anti TNF treatment!
Although i`m single and live by myself, my Staffordshire Bull terrier Ronnie keeps me sane and gives me the motivation to go out for a walk with him.
I have brilliant friends andrelatives who help me domestically if and when i am unable to do things.
Having contacts on facebook who suffer the same thing has made life easier and it`s good to communicate with people all over the world who have AS abd face the same ignorance and problems
Somerset England

8 Responses to “A.S. Face 0352: Pete Austin”

  1. Hi Pete!! Welcome. and thanks for sharing your story. I can’t have a dog where I am at, but I have a LARGE cat who likes to fetch that just today we put a leash on to see if he would walk with us LOL (he didn’t like the idea) 🙂 Marti
    (face 199)

  2. Thanks Pete. Love your puppy! I hope the Enbrel injections help you.
    Derek (face 0221)

  3. Hi Pete, thanks for sharing. I am going to try my best to get out the trout season opener in 11 days. Not sure I can get to my spot, but gonna try!
    Dan B (face 184)

  4. Dear Paul,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I love your puppy, my husband’s name is Ronnie also. Wishing you the best.
    Sincerely Cookie

  5. Peter
    Fancy meeting you here buddy thanks for sharing your journey and all your support and help in raising awareness of AS
    Gill x

  6. Hey Pete…Thankfully you, me and everyone on here are no longer alone as i’m sure we all once thought! Let’s all kick AS into touch!!!

  7. Hi pete…chatting with other AS sufferers on FB and sites like this really does help..we are not alone! lets hope the TNF allows you to catch another monster pike this year…good luck..and kick AS

  8. Thanks for all the lovely comments guys, it`s good to know that we are not alone facing and fighting A S.

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