On Facebook I recently came about the The Faces Of Ankylosing Spondylitis. I,too, have that face.
My name is Viktor Daffron from Atlanta, Georgia.
I remember like it was just a few moments ago instead of the 31 years that it is. I was a fresh faced 19 year old college student dreaming of rock ‘n’ roll fame. I was working part time at an ice rink, the 4:30am till 9am shift, and I was walking down the hall when suddenly I felt a sudden pain in my back. It was sharp, direct and too the point. It HURT. 31 years later it sill HURTS. Over the years I went to many doctors. Some said it was a Calcium build-up, “take these pills and drink less milk.” Another saw bones said it was a lack of Calcium, “take these pills and drink more milk.”
Another one said it was my shoes.
(Really, “my shoes?”)
So, my mother bought me the shoes he suggested. Sadly, nothing. That bad boy continued to HURT. So, I went about my merry way in pain. My rock ‘n’ roll and filmmaking dreams landed me jobs at various radio stations across the US of A. Then in LA in 1995 I was let go from a radio station. I decided I wanted a career in TV. So, I decided to join the California National Guard to get the TV education I wanted. During my physical, one of the exercises they required was the “duck walk.” For reasons that are self explanatory, you waddle like a duck.
The attending doctor for that exercise noticed I had trouble. He said “your spine doesn’t look right.” So he ordered additional test and sent me to a rheumatologist, who did an examination and x-rays. Afterwards he said, “You have ‘Bamboo Spine.” At first I’m like, “what…my spine is made out of Bamboo. Could I make money as a Side Show Freak?” Then he explained that “Bamboo Spine “was the rigid spine produced by Ankylosing Spondylitis, so called from its radiographic appearance. Suddenly, my dreams of fame on Letterman disappeared.
Well, a lot of things have happened between then and now; such as I am also Diabetic and Bipolar. People are amazed at how much medicine I take a day. But, we’ll save some of that for another day.
Currently, I am on SSDI and spend my days making goofy videos such as the one I came in 4th place with http://www.spondylitis.org/.
Until a later date.
Atlanta Georgia United States of America