As a 36-year-old young man who has endured a lifetime of physical skeletal pain, trying to live a normal life has been rather impossible. While sport came naturally and I achieved state honours in cricket and football, there was always the pain that came along with it. Injuries riddled my body from tip to toe but somehow, I always found ways to compete.
After my father took me out of school at age 16, I found myself in a pressurised industry and in an unhealthy and prudent environment. Again, my body started to feel the pinch. At around the age of 23 or 24, the injuries finally started to really crank up and double sciatic nerve pain took over my life. Somehow, I again found ways to move forward before finally, the hinderance of the sciatic nerve pain caused me to permanently stoop over and stand at around 4 inches shorter than my actual height.
The decision was made to have my back operated on. After dead discs were removed, six screws were installed in my lower back with artificial discs installed to replace the dead ones. After around 12 months, I decided to make a comeback to my previous life. Some two years on, my neck blew up and I experienced the same type of pain in my lower back, only this time, to my brain and skull.
At health professionals’ request, these questions were asked: why do bones keep on breaking in my spine and why do my discs continue dying? After rheumatologists conducted investigations and their findings were taken into account, rare immune system problems were found. The HLA-B27 gene was found not to be positive and in addition to the spondyoarthritis (spinal arthritis), a one of a kind disease was diagnosed.
After the birth of my first child two years ago, I discovered that it was possible that everything that had happened was leading me towards a direction or journey to share my story and explain how I survived with this condition.
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