I can’t believe that it’s only been a year since I wrote the post that started this blog. That it’s only been a year since that epically long post that was longer than I ever expected it to be. But life rolls on and another WYASO is looming.
I’m hoping that those people who choose to read this are already aware of AS, and particularly WYASO. But just in case you aren’t (where the buggery have you been for a year!? I’ve been bleating on about it like nobody’s business!) AS is Ankylosing Spondylitis, an autoimmune condition that primarily affects the spine. (Think of it as rheumatoid arthritis of the spine if you want to put it into context.) But it’s not connected to age. In fact it usually affects younger people (like I *used* to be) and takes an average of 10 years to diagnose.
No, not a typo. Ten years. A decade. Think about what you were doing ten years ago. It’s difficult to think that far back isn’t it? Now imagine waiting that long for a diagnosis. That long to be told that the back pain you’re suffering isn’t in your head – it’s in your back!
For some people it’s even longer. It took 18 years for me. And the problems that come with a delayed diagnosis aren’t just suffering for a long time. Without a diagnosis you’re more likely to rest when you’re in pain. That’s a bad thing for AS and is the first steps to becoming bent.
So Walk Your AS Off month is an awareness raising event. If you want to give some money then it’s always welcome. But if you don’t, or don’t have the money spare, just help us to raise awareness. Get people to come along to Heaton Stannington Football Club this afternoon. Or get to know and recognise the symptoms and let people know!