I am writing to this now after I had composed an artwork. It had been brewing for about a week since my friend forwarded me an appeal for medical/financial help by a patient with #AnkylosingSpondylitis a medical disease which causes destruction of joints and loss of movement at spine and hips.
This particular patient was bedridden for past several years and last few months have been extremely troubling
He lives in a small tin roof hut built by kind neighbours with his young family. He himself is in prime of hia youth abd his ilness had crept in on him and progresses considerably. Without medical and financial help he is not taking any, and cannot afford any. As a result his joints have become immobile and he requires somebody to come to turn him around in bed or prop him up. The pain while moving is excruciating he says.
He has been fighting it out though and making paper Ballpen abd Umbrella for a living. There are some steady clients but past few months have been terrible. He has been unable to send his products due to lockdown since courier and speed post services also have been stopped due to #COVID.
I had bought a small number of pens under my personal capacity to encourage this chap and give him a morale boost.
Today I decided to doodle it for #ArztForACause project and raise awareness about Ankylosing Spondylitis a medical condition where joints lose mobility and spine hunches forwards and bend over acutely; so acutely that one cannot even look up
What I’ve attached below if the drawing I made just now.
About Ankylosing Spondylitis
It’s a medical condition where there is an inflammatory process in the tissues and joints.
This inflammation is relentless, progresses fast and is an extremely painful process.
Usually this disease affects spine and other major joints like Hip Joints causing pain, inflammation and stiffness. Overtime the joint itself ‘fuses’ much like how a metal hinge can we welded and rendered immobile.
This happens frequently in spine and hips. As a result the patient becomes completely immobile at those joints and cannot move about.
The entire process starts around the twenties and progresses fast and by late thirties or forties patient is bedridden.
There are basic medications and some expensive injections called ‘biologicals’ which can ease or slow down the process but none can stop it. Supervised Yoga or exercises have be extremely gentle as risk of fracture of spine is very high. Deep breathing exercises for chest is very important as all the ribs tend to join at the breastbone instead of staying flexible. When ribs fuse with breastbone the chest wall becomes rigid and doesn’t expand when patient breaths. As a result he has to use his diaphragm muscle and abdomen muscles to breath.
Early intervention is paramount along with physical therapy and supervised exercises.
Consult your Doctor to know more about Ankylosing Spondylitis if you’ve symptoms of back or upper back pain, tightness in chest, early morning pain, pain while sleeping and joint pains with swelling.
Some patients also have symptoms of irritable bowel, inflammation inside their eyes which causes them to water and many other symptoms.