30 year old London taxi driver with AS
New here so I thought I’d share my story. Been driving a cab for just over a year now and what was supposed to be the best job in the world has turned out to be the worst (for someone with AS).
I’ve suffered with back pain since I was a child and was fobbed off until 2020 when I was officially diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis. I was warned by the rheumatologist that driving a cab was not the job for me but giving up The Knowledge was never an option 💪🏻
Plus I have a terrible habit of not doing as I’m told 😂
In keeping with this fashion I’ve always resisted medication. I reluctantly took etoricoxib during a bad flare up last year and six months later — despite warning the docs of a family history of Chrons disease — I had to come off them due to stomach issues. I’ve since been offered adalimumab but the idea of it terrifies the life out of me.
Also, I’m a hell of a sceptic. Every appointment I’ve had I ask the specialists: ‘can I get into remission without medication?’ They look at me like I’ve got two heads and tell me it is absolutely, categorically impossible.
So, I’m one month into not eating gluten (but eating very clean, fresh, home cooked meals), I don’t drink or smoke, I’ve practiced yoga for 3 years, I’ve got a personal trainer and workout regularly yet I write this from the un-comfort of my bed.
The pain is surprisingly low at the moment but the fatigue has hit me like a ton of bricks. One day I feel like I could climb a mountain, the next I can’t climb the friggin’ stairs!
I’m trying my best and working so hard at a healthy lifestyle but I fear I’m wasting my time. I’m self employed and haven’t worked properly since Christmas. It’s becoming quite stressful.
Following this (ahem..) short and sweet sob story I have some questions:
Can you have fatigue without pain? I don’t know if I’m actually just a lazy slob 😂
Has anyone else here shunned the meds in favour of the ‘natural diet and exercise’ approach?
Am I being stupid for not taking medication?
Does anyone here drive for a living despite pain? Or — find their job is actually detrimental to their arthritis?
Is anyone self employed? How do you cope with being off work?
Any answers/insights would be gratefully received ☺️
And lastly, if you made it this far without nodding off you deserve a medal!
Thanks, stay strong folks 💪🏻
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