Ankylosing Spondylitis

This category contains 5 posts

Talking about writing with Ryan Haynes

Ryan Haynes is a writer based in California who caused a stir with his first book Unfortunately Human. It’s the story of a young man with an extreme form of a fortunately rare condition called Ankylosing Spondylitis which primarily affects the spine, gradually fusing the vertebrae together into a solid column of bone. Ryan’s spine is completely fused and his description of the minutiae of its effects struck a chord with many readers in the AS community. As someone who also has AS and files the occasional update on the subject, Your Girl Reporter had a couple of questions.  Continue reading


To hell and back – a hero’s journey with ankylosing spondylitis

Unfortunately Human by Ryan HaynesWhen a member of Team AS got in touch to say there was a novel going around the ankylosing spondylitis community which was entirely based on the symptoms of this rare and little understood condition, I wasn’t sure I wanted to read it. Here’s my review of Unfortunately Human by Ryan Haynes.

The main player in this extraordinary little book is never named but there’s no doubting its identity. So acutely drawn is the anonymous protagonist that I hesitate to recommend Unfortunately Human by Ryan Haynes to anyone who knows someone with his condition because it will undoubtedly break your heart.

And yet, and yet…if you want to know, if you really want to know the brutal truth of it all, here’s a novel which captures what it’s like to live with ankylosing spondylitis.

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The highs and lows of living with an immune disorder

It was inevitable that a big life change like buying a house would spark a flare-up of an immune disorder which reacts to stress. Anything which deviates from the flat line of normality is a risk. My particular flavour is called Ankylosing Spondylitis but I’m writing this post for anyone who ever feels the effects of stress.

My reaction to stress might be extreme but it is something which affects all of us in its own unique way and yet it is widely misunderstood. I am less surprised these days by the things I find ‘stressful’ but it has taken a long time and many visits to the emergency clinic to appreciate the way little things can build upon each other to ratchet up the pressure.

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In praise of dull, colourless and boring

One of the hardest things about living with an immune disorder like ankylosing spondylitis is identifying the stresses which can lead to inflammation. That’s because stress can be anything from a cold, a couple of late nights… even a marriage proposal. Continue reading

Ankyspondydoodah… doodah… doodah

A Hat Tip to everyone facing a health challenge. Sometimes it slows us down and forces us to take a slightly different direction, but the journey continues.  Continue reading


Your Girl Reporter is now filing as Maria Spackman at www.mariaspackman.com Same great content, whole new website. I’m leaving Sally Baxter up, as I can’t quite bring myself to let her go completely, but it’s time to honour my family name – and use it. Hope you’ll join me for the Further Adventures of a Girl Reporter. It’ll be fun.