The Day My Life Changed in 3 Hours

Last updated: January 2023

On the 3rd of June 2016, I was having my 2 days off. I went to the beach and that same evening we set off for a wine tasting event. I was fine but my feet felt tired. There wasn't anywhere to sit so I just managed. Then the same feeling started to creep up my legs and sit on my waist.

Within 3 hours I went from fine to feeling like I was walking on broken glass, so much so that I ended up having to get a piggy back ride home. This pain didn't leave me...ever. I kept going to the doctor's and they'd just prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs. After so long I couldn't handle the pain and left my workplace mid shift and shuffled crying my eyes out to the doctor's AGAIN.

Still saying that it's just sciatica, I'm prescribed slightly stronger meds and given a sick note. After 8 months and being put on antidepressants, I'm told I have to go to a medical review. Scared of what will happen I go to the doctor's for advice and get a scolded for being off for 8 months for "just a back pain." Crying my eyes out I leave and the next day I'm back in work.

Miracles occur and riddled with pain and anxiety I survive there for another year until I go for my work routine check up and the doctor (presuming for some reason that I have a gluten intolerance err...ok) puts on her notes in my report that I need to see a specialist. My doctor FINALLY after 3 years of telling me that it's in my head or I could have chronic back pain for no reason forever, FINALLY gives me a referral.

In December 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic I am treated as a person with an illness. The specialist fresh out of university tells me that he suspects that I have AS sends me for x-rays, MRIs and a blood test. Finally after 4 and a half years I am told that it's not in my head, I'm not complaining for attention and it's not just a backache. I'm told something that I had suspected for a while.

I have AS and chronic sacroilitis. Now my new journey can begin but it will be a one filled with disappointment and despair. The lack of empathy and lack of communication on their behalf begins anew. Now I'm fighting for them to hear that I have chronic neck pain and that their biologic meds aren't the miracle they believe they are. Wish me luck...I'm going to need it.

Needless to say that I've passed 2 medical reviews and now I'm allowed to continue as a "pensioner" at 44 years old till 2024. Then the battle begins again.

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