ankylosing spondylitis. that is the verdict from my new specialist, dr. deodhar at OHSU. last monday i met with him and with a few minutes of examining me, listening to my symptoms and reading my family medical history, he said what i have is a classical presentation of ankylosing spondylitis.
so what does this mean for me? first of all, dr. deodhar said i must lose weight and begin to swim or do water exercise at least 4 days a week. i must have regular cardio exercise with zero to low-impact on my joints. yoga is also recommended, although i will begin with a focus on the water exercise for now. slow and steady wins the race...if i needed further motivation to get my butt in gear, well now i have it in the form of a prescription!
i guess it's good news on some level. it is good to have an answer and a direction of treatment to pursue. i still don't know what sparked the attack of acute, intense back pain and vertigo of march, but i do feel they are related. my diagnosis of AS is revealing, but not the full answer on some levels. i hope to gain the answer to that mystery at my next appointment. my x-rays came back without showing degenerative damage in my lower back vertebrae and pelvis, so that is also good news. i seem to have caught it early enough to (hopefully) prevent degeneration.
after all, i want the next 50 years of my life to be active, healthy and full of adventure!
since my last post, i have been bustling around in the studio with orders and busy gardening on my patio. i have a small rose garden that after years of neglect, is finally getting tended, weeded and mulched. i fought a brutal battle with aphids (3,000 ladybugs lost their lives) and have emerged victorious. today, tomato and basil plants are going into pots. a small bed of multi-color sunflowers are being seeded. i have dreams of turning this little patio into a fruitful kitchen garden.
this year, it is an experiment. yet, hopefully will be able to enjoy cut flowers and fresh veggies from right outside my back door in a couple of months.
spring is in full swing. summer is coming, even through the rain, i can see that sunshine on the other side. and i am excited to enjoy summer, my summer of new things.
on june 8, my first graduate school class begins. i am nervous and excited. the summer classes are offered as intensives, so i will have one class everyday 8-5 for a solid week, then it's done. whew! what a way to begin the program. i am taking full time credits this summer, but only actually in class for about four weeks.
so there will be plenty of time to dig into my gardening projects and other summer pleasures. i would like to go blueberry picking and make pickles. and i will be clocking in some hours each week at the ymca, of course.
what does summer hold in store for you this year?