5 Simple Daily Activities Affected by AS
Ankylosing spondylitis affects every aspect of our lives. Sometimes it’s hard to find the words to be able to explain just how much it affects us. I’m going to write about 5 simple tasks that most people do on a daily basis. Five tasks that are made more difficult by having AS.
1. Getting out of bed
Usually, step 1 of our days. Time and time again, it’s also proven to be an extremely difficult one for me. When I wake up, I feel exhausted. I feel stiff, my body feels heavy, and I realize what parts of my body are in pain. I always just want to go back to sleep because it’s the one part of my day where I’m not in pain. But most days I have to get up, and when I do, I have morning stiffness that lasts around 20-30 minutes, along with pain and fatigue.
If I’m being brutally honest, most days I don’t shower. I either take a bath or if I’m staying home and not feeling great, I don’t do anything. Gross, I know, but showering absolutely exhausts me. Not only that but if I’m in a flare, I sometimes need assistance from my mom. I won’t be able to bend down, so I need her to hand me the bottles as I need them. I’m in the process of getting a shower chair, and I’m hopeful that it will help immensely.
3. Getting dressed
Here’s another shocker, I don’t work, so if I don’t have to, I don’t get dressed. I’m probably painting the nicest picture possible of myself in your head. Anyways, when I’m in a flare, or in more pain than usual, I need help getting dressed. Getting skinny jeans on isn’t an easy task even when I’m feeling fine. Again, my mom helps me with this. She’s helped me with a lot of simple tasks since I’ve had AS. It’s always important to ask for help from those closest to you when you need it!
4. Cooking and making food
Before I got AS I worked in a restaurant. I loved to cook, make smoothie bowls, salads, all of it. I still cooked and baked well into my first year of having AS, but since then I’ve kind of fallen off. With fatigue being a big part of my life, I just don’t have the energy most days to cook. It makes me sad because I loved to do it so much. Luckily I live at home with my parents, and they can help me out when I don’t really have the energy to cook.
5. Seeing friends
This has been something I struggle with a lot. I’m not able to see a lot of my friends very often because I’m either in pain or too fatigued. I tend to have to cancel the day of because I don’t know how I’ll feel until then. I always feel so bad for doing so, but my friends understand why. Some days, the thought of taking the bus to go get a cup of tea with a friend is just too much to handle.
It affects everything
AS has affected every single part of my life good and bad. Sometimes people don’t seem to understand just how much it affects me. I try to explain it by using simple examples that most people do every day, just like the 5 I used here. How does AS affect your daily activities?
Other than back pain and fatigue, what is the most common symptom that AS patients experience?