The Bottom Line ... and a few hard truths.

You have a chronic, degenerative condition. It's not going to go away and your life will not be exactly what it was before you had AS. This isn't a pretend disease, or something you can wish away, this is a serious chronic illness. The course of this disease will not always go the way you want it to go. Sometimes things will be out of your control and no amount of wanting it to be any other way will change that.  All you can do is control what you can control and learn to adapt to any changes that the disease may bring.

This is the nature of a chronic degenerative disease. You have to, at some point, acknowledge and accept that.
Your life is not the same as it was before you had AS and it will not be going back to that earlier time. You may get back to a point that is very close to what your life once was, but it will never be exactly the same. Now, you will have good days and you will have bad days. This disease will flow and ebb. Just when you think its gone into remission, it will flare up again. Just when you think the agony and pain will continue forever, it will subside and you will feel almost normal again. That is your new ground of being.

Unfair? Sure it's unfair any of us have this disease. Annoying? It damn sure is a lot of the time. Should you be surprised that you can no longer do some of the things you did before? No. Should you wallow in self-pity? No. Can you do something to alleviate the pain and suffering and adapt to your new reality? Yes. And if you're wise, that's where you'll direct the bulk of your energy.

Figuring out how to adapt to this disease does not take a rocket scientist. But it does take someone willing to get past the notion that this new reality is unfair or shouldn't be happening to you. That's a given for all of us. The next step you have to take is to accept this reality and start your comeback.

This isn't BS, it's a big friggin' challenge. You can either succumb to it or fight back. Everyone has challenges in life. This is one of yours. It is a challenge to overcome that is not impossible, but does take occasionally sucking it up and meeting the obstacle head on. Your children will understand the occasional times you are unable to play with them, but won't understand if you don't spend time fighting back against this disease. Don't get stuck in the "I don't want to be here, it's not fair" stage. Be bold, learn all you can about this disease, make informed decisions on treatment options and get back on the path to reclaiming your life.

There are a lot of good people out there who know and understand AS. Search them out and put together your own plan of attack. And don't let the diagnosis of AS be the end of your life. Make it the beginning of your own personal triumph over adversity.

The best of luck to you on your journey,

Michael Smith (aka Spenser23) Mayor of Spondyville