I (32M) have Ankylosing Spondylitis for 18 years. AMA
Hi. I'm a 32 years old male. I have Ankylosing Spondylitis for more than 18 years (If you don't have much idea about the condition feel free to have a look at the YouTube link at the end of this post). I have literally forgotten how it feels to be without pain. This condition has somehow restricted most of my physical activities. It definitely has a huge impact on the quality and most of my choices in my life.
During my school and university days (I was undiagnosed back then) I skipped most of the classes because of immense pain. I have up played almost all outdoor sports by the age of 20.
It's a progressive condition. There's no cure. Immune suppression can help to reduce the speed of the progression. And that has its own consciences, so I've rejected immune suppression (biologics). I have tried my best to stay as much active I can be. Staying active helps to reduce the progression of the condition. Now I'm 32 and I find it very hard to stand straight. I'm in a hunched back posture most of the time.
I've been in immense pain all over me for almost two decades now. Because there are no external symptoms (no swelling or anything like that) nobody around me bothered. Now that I have this hunched back posture, and can be seen from outside that something is wrong in my body. So I get a lot of attention and people around me keep asking me. I'm used to the pain and the limitations come from it. But I'm not used to this unnecessary attention that I'm getting lately.
If you are still reading this feel free to AMA.
Please excuse my English skill. As you can tell, it is not my language.
More about Ankylosing Spondylitis - https://youtu.be/qmE5lxUVtmE
[Update - There is a flood of questions that i was not expecting. I'm trying to answer every question in detail. It may take a while but if you've a question I'll definitely get back to you]