My name is Lynne McDonald and I have Ankylosing Spondylitis. I have had symptoms since I was 19, diagnosed officially when I was 49, and am now 63. It has been a long, trying battle of “me” against my body but I have fought on. I have tried numerous rheumatologists with all the same answer; drugs, see which ones work. None did. They made me feel worse. When they brought up the subject of Enbrel, I headed for the door in full fleeting mode due to reported side effects of certain blood cancers, which have a high occurrence in my family. I was even told by one rheumatologist not to come back… Read More »Why Walking Makes Me Feel Better – Keep Moving!
AS is a thief, a trickster and a really crappie life-partner. AS has no moral compass and absolutely no compassion. Its lack of empathy is only matched with its intense perseverance. It takes hold and never lets go…even if you have episodes of remission, this disease is lying in wait. Although it is true that chronic illnesses do not affect all patients in the same way, Ankylosing Spondylitis is known to cause inflammation, pain and fatigue. AS disrupts our daily activities, our plans and our ability to maintain relationships and often work. Chronic illness can bring depression, anxiety and a… Read More »You Are Reading This Because You Have Ankylosing Spondylitis
Guest Author: Shalva (Brenda) Berger There once was a life. Within this life there was a strong, loving woman full of faith. She had encountered many obstacles in life. Yet, regardless of the obstacles, she persevered through them and instead chose to embrace the small joys that were presented by each day. This woman adored children. She became a teacher and taught them not only academics, but also values. Revealing that every student and child within her classroom mattered, regardless of their race, background, struggles, or special needs. This woman loved her own children as the precious gifts they were,… Read More »The Beast Within – Ankylosing Spondylitis
Guest Author: Micki Hogan There is a disease out there crippling people. This disease is vicious. It can cause unfathomable pain. This is a disease few have heard about. We are talking about Ankylosing Spondylitis. Ankylosing Spondylitis is a autoimmune/anti-inflammatory disease that primarily affects the spine, but AS is a very powerful disease that can take control of someone’s life if they do not receive a proper diagnosis. Living undiagnosed is something many people do every day. They suffer and wonder why? Why am I in so much pain? Some have been lost not knowing the disease could even be a… Read More »Do You Have Persistent Back Pain? Here Is What You Need To Know
Guest Post by Karen Fitch, Team Captain of Fitch Feet What’s your new normal? Do you have one of those quadruple pill sorters like I do? Maybe you have your infusion appointments logged into you smartphone’s calendar? Possibly you are spending the next few hours wrapped up in bed with a heating pad? Perhaps you are eating a bowl of chocolate peanut butter ice cream because it’s the only 19 minutes of joy in your life today? Feasibly, you’re playing gin rummy with your kid because it is all you can manage to do as playing catch in the backyard… Read More »What's Your New Normal?
Many times we address the needs of those of us with Ankylosing Spondylitis and we fail to acknowledge the people in our lives that act as caregivers and support systems. We all have at least one person – a partner, a parent, or a friend that we turn to when we are in a flare or just in need of assistance. When I looked around myself and other members of the Walk AS One Board and I noticed that many of my fellow board members have partners they can rely on. I have my mother and other family and friends,… Read More »Recognizing Caregiver Burnout: We Thank You and Salute You!
It’s that time of year, the Holidays. We always end up trying to figure out how to not end up in a flare. So, I asked some of my chronically-ill friends what they do or what best practices they would share with others. Avoid people It seems a little anti-social doesn’t it for such a social time but it is great advice. Try to avoid large crowds. I know we’re already after one of the major shopping days here in the US but you can still get caught up in the crowds. One way to avoid the crowds is to… Read More »Five Tips for Staying Flare Free Over the Holidays
The Walk AS One community stood tall this year to raise awareness for Ankylosing Spondylitis on World Arthritis Day 2016. Our teams walked 1,287,797 steps in ONE DAY to raise awareness for Ankylosing Spondylitis on World Arthritis Day, which was on October 12, 2016. Our Not-So-Silent auction raised the money we need to redo our Walk Your AS Off site with an integrated step count system with FitBit, so we’re going to be starting on that shortly. Our site will be much easier to manage for Walk Your AS Off 2017, so get ready for our best year yet! It’s… Read More »Walk Your AS Off World Arthritis Day 2016 – RECAP
I’d never given Mount Fuji a thought before I came to Japan. Even when I arrived here nearly a year ago it seemed a vague and unattainable thing; something merely depicted in art, pictures, and advertisements. Most of the people I asked about it had only seen the mountain from afar. Yet somehow the hair-brained idea of climbing Fuji slowly but surely crept into my mind. I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis(AS) my senior year of high school. With lots of patience, and lots of Enbrel, I was able to get it under control, and had the privilege of studying… Read More »How I Walked My AS Off — Charlotte's Story of Climbing Mt. Fuji
This past year I have felt that I’ve continually taken one step forward and two steps back. The optimist in me hates to be thinking this way but sometimes we have to own it and acknowledge it to move forward again. After the amazing 2014 year of Walk Your AS Off, a group of us decided it was beyond the time to take our community project to the next level. We realized that for us to be able to best service the AS community through the walk that we needed to incorporate and then become a US based non-profit… Read More »One step forward!