The AS in my life comes down to this:
Yep, it's there all right, as evidenced my neck
and back's lack of movement.
Pretty simple description - fusion from top to bottom.
It's been years for the AS to get to this point. It's really
just gotten this to this level since the late 1990s.
No doubt about it, AS affects my life on a daily basis.
But maybe not as much as some people might think. The bottom
line is that it restricts my neck and back's movement and
to a lesser degree my walking, or gait. The
limits of my back's range of motion (ROM) are pretty significant.
The limit on my neck is the most apparent when you look at
me - I can't turn my head but for just a few degrees left
to right. My x-rays show almost total ossification at C1 and
the base of my cranium, which makes it to where I can't turn
my head like how most people can. Because of this ossification,
I also can't move my head up and down very much either. It's
a little wider ROM than my ability to turn left to right but
still significantly limited.
I have substantial fusion between the vertebrae from the
top (cervical 1, C1) to the bottom (sacral 1, S1). C1 is the
vertebrae that connects to the skull and S1 is where the spinal
column attaches to the pelvis. This fusion includes all the
vertebrae along the spinal column.
So I can't see things high up, like a plane overhead or something
high on the wall or on the ceiling. Sometimes this is a nuisance
because I might want to see something that is up high and
it's frustrating when that happens.
And to look at the collar of my shirt is pretty hard too,
though a mirror comes in handy for that. But these incidences
are pretty trivial overall. There are times that it gets in
the way of something that I intend to do but it doesn't stop
me from doing anything. If I have to look for a book on a
high bookshelf, for instance (and when is that easy for anyone?),
I simply get a step stool or something to stand on to look.
It doesn't stop me from looking for or retrieving the book.
The most daily hindrance is my inability to look to my side
when I'm sitting down. Like when I'm at the movies with a
friend, I can't casually look at him or her and