Hi my name is Gordon, Big G!
I was diagnosed with AS when I was 21 after having severe spine pain and sciatica with intermittent loss of the use of my legs while I was working as a drystone waller. I previously worked in forestry and wildlife related employment.
At 26 I had an experimental 11 hour spinal fusion operation to fix fractures in my spine and was told AS was a mistaken diagnosis. I continued to have pain in my spine and legs for many years then my knees became severely inflamed with reactive arthritis after a salmonella infection.
I continued to have severe pain in my legs, hips, spine and knees and it wasn’t until I was 48 when my knees were being treated at hospital that I was referred to a specialist where after many tests etc. was given the diagnosis of Ankylosing Spondylitis.
Tbh, it was and still is a bit of shock but at the same time reassuring to know what is behind all the pain. My sacral joints have fused as has my lower spine. I’m lucky no inflammation was detected higher up the spine. My main problem is the pain, fatigue, and lack of mobility in my knees. I’m on and off crutches depending on how long the injections I get last and after a long long wait I’m now on sulphalasine and slowly increasing the dose each week to the required daily intake. The injections help but they are only short term I’ve started hydrotherapy and it helps but it’s hard work too lol.
I’m as active as I can be but fatigue can knock me for six. I only sleep in short naps of 2 hours or so and holding down my job is tough. I’m fairly optimistic about the future but cautiously so. I’m doing what I can to help myself but still, it’s a lonely journey. I don’t think my wife really understands what’s going on although she is a star, I try not to burden her with anything.
It is what it is and I’m trying to keep positive but tbh it is a bumpy ride at times! Excuse the picture! Me on a bad day that stretched to a few weeks!
Europe, United Kingdom, Scotland