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Ankylosing Spondylitis Sucks

My story started with being diagnosed with fibromyalgia in my early 20s and then with AS at 29. Both are awful and I got a double whammy. I can handle the fibro, but AS sucks.

I was devastated when I was diagnosed with AS. I was an EMT, a CNA and had just finished all my prereqs for nursing school. Now I was being told I had to get out of the medical field.

AS changed my life

I had to change my lifestyle, my jobs, and my field of study. The doctor tried to give me an open-ended prescription for Percocet and told me I would be on painkillers for the rest of my life. I did not take them. No one told me AS is progressive and to start treating it then.

Two years ago, I woke up on a Sunday and couldn’t move, my body felt stiff and twisted and contorted in ways I didn’t think my body could go. This last year, I have had very painful epidurals, spinal blockers, steroid shots, and even nerve cauterizations.

None of them helped.

My body feels broken

Fast forward to now. I am 44. I will be having my third back surgery, for a spinal fusion, in November. I can’t pick up my grandson, as I can barely bend over. I have resorted to flat slip-on shoes when I always used to wear high heels.

I have to log roll off my bed. Between the AS and the fibro, my body feels broken, beat up, bruised, stiff, like I have been hit by a truck and wrapped in barbed wire.

Brain fog

I forget things, when I speak it is like my brain and my mouth are not on the same page and I get my words mixed up or say the wrong word. I often forget and lose things.

I am so fatigued that it makes it difficult to not want to spend every second of every day in bed.

AS sucks

No one understands what I am going through or how I feel, as I don’t “look” sick. And it seems that a lot of doctors don’t really know much about AS.

In short, as I think many of you can agree, AS sucks.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Auldyn Matthews-McGee moderator
    2 months ago

    AS truly sucks @gingerlea36. So much of what I read is what my husband has gone through, and we’re just now 29. I fear so much for our future, but there are still moments of joy here and there.

    He also suffers from a lot of fatigue and brain fog. That is often tougher to manage than the pain.

    Thank you for opening up and posting your story here!


  • Gingerlea36 author
    4 weeks ago

    I am sorry to hear your husband goes through the same thing as I do. AS is a rough road to go down.

    You guys are young and I am sure he is strong and a fighter. Take things day by day. Enjoy the good days and rest with him on the bad. You guys will get through this! Please know if you need some one to talk to you can always message me.

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