Balancing Dad Duties and Chronic Illness; Living the Ankylosing Spondylitis Life

Ankylosing Spondylitis, or AS, is an inflammatory form of arthritis that affects the spine and large joints. It can cause inflammation between the vertebrae, the joints between the spine and the pelvis, and typically results in reduced flexibility in the spine which can lead to some degree of spinal fusion. This reduced flexibility can eventually result in a hunched-forward posture. Most people with AS also experience pain in their back and joints.

As you can probably conclude, living with AS can be quite a challenge. When you throw parenting duties into the mix, it can certainly make things more difficult. When you have children, your whole life changes. Your needs are suddenly put on the back burner and someone else’s needs come first. There are many days that you have to pretend to be a happy, healthy parent when you may feel anything but that.

For me, the pain, stiffness, and fatigue that can accompany AS can have a significant impact on my daily life. Some days I might be crawling around the house because of the stiffness and pain. While my children think it’s a fun game, I’m really in a lot of pain! I’m lucky to have a partner to help out on my bad days.

While I can’t always be as hands-on as I’d like to, I’m sure to put in the extra effort where I can. It may be hard for me to pick up my boys or rough-house with them in ways we would both like to, but when we get in the pool I feel like a new person. My pain subsides, and we have a blast. Those days are special.


While there’s currently no cure for AS, research studies testing potential new treatments are enrolling now at New England Research Associates. If you or someone you love is struggling with Ankylosing Spondylitis and looking for new treatment options, a research study could be an option. Qualified participants may have access to potential new AS treatments, receive care from board-certified physicians and other medical staff, and may receive compensation for time and travel expenses. To learn more about these studies and to see if you qualify CLICK HERE.