A.S. Face 0386: Matt

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


United Kingdom

6 Responses to “A.S. Face 0386: Matt”

  1. Marti, I think you should skip this FACE, because this guy is just too damn handsome! I am going to steal his face and put it on MY Facebook profile! OK, seriously, Matt, I think “being diagnosed with AS was one of the best days” for ALL of us. You’re among those who understand you. You’re among friends.

  2. Derek, you are so silly. 🙂 Hi Matt! I can completely relate to what you say about being diagnosed finally. I remember thinking everyone thought I was a hypocondriac and the day I found out I had AS I actually called people and was like “SEE there REALLY IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME, It’s NOT all in my head”. Thanks for sharing your story. …Derek is right, you are among friends and people who understand. Welcome!!

  3. sounds crazy, like you I was glad to know it wasn’t in my head as I had heard so many times, when I have to use my cain people look at me in disbelief, I am working on getting over my social phobia, it is an unknown disease to most,which brings me to my next point that it makes me feel better to have others that I can relate to! I am very thankful for this site and hope it is useful and enlightening for others as well. John G

  4. Dear Matt,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I aslos say advantage of the good days.
    Sincerely Cookie

  5. There are so many of us out there who went through the stage of being told there was nothing wrong – all in your head – growing pains etc etc etc so that being told we have a chronic incurable illness was a cause for celebration! Maybe we are all a bit nuts!!

  6. Sorry everyone, I had not noticed there had been some responses to my story. Thank you for your comments 🙂

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