Like a phoenix rising from the ashes I have returned from whence I came. It has been over 9 months since I last wrote here, but with good reason. If you can remember in my last post I announced that I was emigrating to the USA. I am pleased to report that it went to plan, and I have now been a permanent resident of Virginia for the last 5 months. What a busy and exciting time it’s been! But more on that in future posts.
A few things have changed, as you might have expected. I am no longer working full-time — in fact — I am now a stay-at-home parent. On a personal level this is wonderful, but from an AS point of view, less so. With my daily ‘exercise’ now greatly reduced from my previous routine, I have found myself getting more stiff as the weeks have gone on. I have tried out a few different exercise plans, but non have stuck, until now. Just last week I started training in martial arts (again). My local dojo teaches a less rigid form of martial arts compared to what I did pre-AS. In fact it teaches Shaolin Kempo, which is sort of a Kung Fu and Karate mix. It’s made a huge difference already in such a sort space of time. Let’s hope it continues to do so.
Being a stay-at-home parent, coupled with not yet knowing anyone, has been socially quite difficult. Especially as most of the conversations I have these days are with a 3 year old, and a 10 month old. So after Christmas I decided to join a local Chess club. Now sitting down in silent for several hours while playing Chess isn’t exactly too social I admit. But it’s been good to get out the house and met new people, even if our interactions are minimal. Of course the thing I’m hoping for the most, is that playing Chess regularly again may help to keep my mind sharp, as well as help with my mental stamina, on those harder fatigue-filled days.
Moving to a new country is certainly a challenge, but so far things seem to be working out well. And although there will be always be things I miss about home, there is so much to look forward to and be excited about ahead of me. Having Ankylosing Spondylitis hasn’t stopped me doing the things I want to do the most. If you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way to make it work. It may be a little harder, and you may need to be a bit more organised and informed, but it’s not impossible.
I’d love to hear your stories too. What dreams have you achieved despite your AS? What have you done that you didn’t think possible with your diagnosis? Can’t wait to start hearing from you all again. I missed you all…. well most of you….well a few…. one or two maybe…. well you, just you. 😛