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Regarding Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)



When I think of AS, I'm reminded that:

We have no choice but to move along the best we can with what we're dealt.

Its components are complex but its affect on me is pretty simple.

It gives me as much pain as I let it. Its simply just another part of my life.


When I think of Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) physiologically, often I think of it in pretty simple terms. Its components are complex but its affect on my body is rather straightforward. It demands that I give it lots of attention.

In its extreme manifestation, it causes someone to tolerate a lot of physical pain and deformity, not to mention the associated emotional pain that is related to all that. In its


less advanced state it demands that the person become aware of its presence and can therefore cause a lot of anxiety because of what the future may hold. There is no cure for AS, though it can be successfully managed, and that's what causes some people to worry. Worrying itself, of course, just makes things worse. We have no choice but to move along the best we can with what we're given.    Moving along

And that's what I try do, to move along the best I can with what I've been given. A portion of my energy is given to my AS. Be this in my nominal daily stretching and exercises or when a perfect stranger makes the inappropriate (and incorrect) estimation that my life must be hell because of my back.    Response to strangers   My natural way isn't to give one part of my life too much energy, except for my kids, my spirituality, my creativity, or my love. So when something comes along demanding lots of energy I naturally am not willing to tolerate it on its own terms. So I've decided, with the help of fine friends and knowledgeable medical people, that the energy I'm giving to my AS will be on my terms because it is after all my life and the body I possess. Though AS (as well as any other physical challenge) can

What this ole thing means to me!

cause me to feel helpless and frustrated, I've come to accept the awesome notion that the cells that make up this body of mine are going to do what they are going to do, that it was written by my genetic code years ago. I can accept this or reject it. I can accept the fact that these cells are scripted to behave in certain ways or I can fictionalize these processes into my own illusion. I choose to accept this hands down.

But my cells are actually in pretty fine form by and large, and this body of mine is nothing to sneeze at. I don't have the need to fictionalize any part of it because it's certainly good enough as it is. Actually it often surprises me, its resilience, its capacity for adaptation, its ability to allow me to feel so much joy at any given moment. AS gives me as much pain as I let it. Its simply another part of my life.

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