We hear the word “hope” and hold on so tightly that sometimes we almost lose our grasp. Having Ankylosing Spondylitis has left us with an unavoidable daily choice. Choosing hope or choosing to let AS control our lives. AS’ers, we start our morning with one of the most difficult. Do we attempt to get out of bed knowing that pain may be in our agenda for the day? We have had a rough night, possibly with tears or some anger, but in the end a night of pain we could not control. The next treatment is days away and we can’t afford to be in the fog of pain medicines today. There is a long list on the schedule and we know today is going to be an adventure. We accept the fact we may not be able to complete our full list, but are wondering if we will even make it past the first few items.
This is where hope steps in. AS’ers we know how strong we can be through experience. We may not have the physical strength, but our mental strength is more than most will ever have the opportunity to appreciate. Our hearts and minds keep us strong. We slowly move toward the end of the bed, plant our feet on the ground and stand proud as if we know today will be the day we hear that they found a cure, or at the least, a day where pain will give us a little break. This IS hope. It may be a day-to-day deal for some. There is no shame in having days where we doubt ourselves. Will we be able to keep fighting while staying positive? I’m sure many AS’ers have had this experience and it is okay to feel this way, you are not alone. The important thing is to get back on track after the discouraging days. Please know that there is support out there. Hope is powerful. Hold on to it as if tomorrow when we wake, the pain will be relieved forever.