A Huge Positive Change
I realize that what I’m about to share won’t resonate with everybody. But if there are only a few people with whom my story resonates, my mission is a success.
My struggle with AS
For the past 30 years, I’ve been through all the stages that a disease like AS can take you through. I didn't want to accept that I have a disease. And I talked down to myself for being different. Having a chronic illness took a huge toll on my mental health. I couldn’t see a better and more healthy future for myself. I know that I wasn’t the only one going through this. Many here have gone through the same.
When I had the first symptom of AS I was only 9 years old. The heavy hip and lower back pain started when I was 12. From that moment it took 3 years to receive a diagnosis. The summer that I turned 26 my hips were damaged to the point where it became clear that I needed hip replacements, with one of them needing to be removed 5 years later due to an infection. Over the years I’ve seen the lowest of the low living with AS.
Looking for the positive again
However, that all started to change 3 years ago. I started to see what all the negative self-talk did to me. I started studying the effects of self-talk. Some of you might be familiar with the work of Dr. Joe Dispenza, if not you might want to look him up on YouTube. Feeling a bit better again and being more positive was something I could really use. So I started to change how I talked to myself. Being in remission or cured the next day was something that I couldn’t believe. But feeling a bit better the next day I could. So I made my own affirmations to repeat to myself. “Every day I’ll feel a bit better.” “Day by day in every way my life will be better.”
The change came for me
At first that all sounded too good to be true for me. But I kept going and believed that my health would be better in the future. Apart from only positive self-talk I also changed my diet and started to do more exercises. Twelve months ago I believe that a huge change came for me. I was able to run again after 20 years of not being able to. I kept running and in October last year, I completed a half marathon.
Over the last 2 years, I started needing less and less medication. My biologic intake went from weekly to 1 to weeks to 1 in 3 weeks. And at the start of this month, I had another win when I visited my rheumatologist. When I told him that so far this year I only took 2 injections and no other medication he was very happy for me and decided to take me off the medication. I have hoped and worked for this moment for a long time. And now it is here I can hardly believe it. For those who are struggling right now please keep believing in a better future.
Do you use the word disability to describe your AS?