Scientific studies have just started to determine the impact of Spondylitis on work and disability. You don’t need to have some study to understand it though. Just ask a Spondy! Working everyday whether at a physically demanding job or not is difficult to say the least. Chronic pain and inflammation leave you feeling so fatigued it’s hard to just stay awake some days. Some are struggling to do basic responsibilities as young as late teens. We all know school is hard enough without adding chronic illness to the mix not to mention that is a long time to deal with such obstacles.
For those of you analytical types that like the numbers, let’s take a look. After combing through what seemed like a never-ending amount of scientific articles these are the averages I have calculated. Spondylitis patients take an average 18-44 Spondylitis related sick days a year. With roughly 30% of patients on disability and another 60% working but impaired. These are rough numbers but very difficult to look at for me.
Reality can be a hard pill to swallow.
My doctor visits began when I was five as my teachers felt I should have more mobility in my spine. Nothing was done at the time. Growing pains you know, it’s always growing pains. I thought it was normal to hurt everyday. So I went on listening to others complain of their aches and thought that was just the nature of the beast. It wasn’t till I was 27 that I learned otherwise. So now how do I deal? Well I work from home and that helps a lot. I don’t think I could work all day in an office anymore. When sitting I get so stiff it’s impossible to get back up with out “working out the kinks”. Which let me tell you that’s not a pretty sight! On the other hand I’ve worked physically demanding jobs as well and I’ve been thinking whether or not I could go back to that. If I can’t sit after all maybe I should do something that requires more movement. I love gardening…anyone who gardens knows it’s physically demanding. It answered that question last summer when I was left flat-out on my back unable to move for days. I’m struggling to find something I can do.
Sitting isn’t the answer and moving isn’t the answer, what is the answer? Please, seriously, someone tell me!
It’s something each of us must handle the best we can. So many strong fighters battle past all of this to do amazing things! They are true inspirations! I would like to take a moment to tell everyone fighting just how amazing you are doing, Stand Tall or at least Proud!