I have Ankylosing Spondylitis it is a form of arthritis that fuses your neck and your back and destroys your large joints like hips shoulders. It is a quite rare disease and it seems to be more popular in Europe and often goes undiagnosed for many years because it starts off with simple symptoms like back pain sciatica swollen knees. Women get the disease too but it’s usually less severe and women so women go undiagnosed more often than men. Until thirty years ago nobody really heard about the disease and it was diagnosed with a blood test called the HLA B27 blood test that’s an antigen that is found in your blood to be positive. There are many now good drugs out for this disease and even Advanced rheumatoid arthritis these drugs do come with their own problems. They can cause infections and certain types of cancers. But with these drugs people no longer will be crippled and they will no longer have their appearance change by this form of arthritis. I will post a few pictures of me through the years and you will see how this disease has changed me over the years.
The above photo is me in a wheelchair and I cannot turn my head that’s why you see me looking out of the side like that. My neck and back are completely fused all the vertebrates have grown together to form one long bone. In doing so the vertebres the disc that we’re in between have been absorbed and my height has gone from 5″8 to about 5 feet. I cannot straighten out I cannot raise my hands above my neck. 20 years ago I founded a website called as web and we had a thousand people with Ankylosing Spondylitis on there with a bunch of stories. There are other sites out there now that have taken over and I no longer do the website. But the people and the stories that I have collected and told have changed my life.
If you know someone with Ankylosing Spondylitis or you suspect that you may have ankylosing spondylitis go to this website. There’s some great people on there with some stories and you’ll find some help.
Thank you, Peace and God bless !