Karen Fitch

You Are Reading This Because You Have Ankylosing Spondylitis

AS is a thief, a trickster and a really crappie life-partner. AS has no moral compass and absolutely no compassion. Its lack of empathy is only matched with its intense perseverance. It takes hold and never lets go…even if you have episodes of remission, this disease is lying in wait. Although it is true that chronic illnesses do not affect all patients in the same way, Ankylosing Spondylitis is known to cause inflammation, pain and fatigue. AS disrupts our daily activities, our plans and our ability to maintain relationships and often work. Chronic illness can bring depression, anxiety and a… Read More »You Are Reading This Because You Have Ankylosing Spondylitis

What's Your New Normal?

Guest Post by Karen Fitch, Team Captain of Fitch Feet What’s your new normal? Do you have one of those quadruple pill sorters like I do? Maybe you have your infusion appointments logged into you smartphone’s calendar? Possibly you are spending the next few hours wrapped up in bed with a heating pad? Perhaps you are eating a bowl of chocolate peanut butter ice cream because it’s the only 19 minutes of joy in your life today? Feasibly, you’re playing gin rummy with your kid because it is all you can manage to do as playing catch in the backyard… Read More »What's Your New Normal?

It's Time To Walk!

Photo by Hamed Saber TODAY IS THE DAY! IT’S TIME TO START STEPPIN’! It’s that time of year again…it is WALK YOUR AS OFF! W is for Waiting. It’s so hard to wait for the event to begin on April 1, 2016. A is for Awareness. That’s why we count our steps and promote this annual event—to create awareness. L is for Line-Up. Your line-up, your team, your motley crew—the people that are on your side. K is for Kicking AS, because that what we do—WE KICK AS. Y is for Yes. Yes, you can take one more step (and then… Read More »It's Time To Walk!

Just Put One Foot In Front Of The Other

Karen Swank-Fitch, Team Captain Team Fitch Feet, has some very wise and inspirational words for all of us. The Walk Your AS Off countdown has begun. Get ready to walk on April 1st, and please stop by and leave Karen a comment.  There is this certain song that has stuck with me since I was, say 5 years old or so. I have used this song as one of my “Soundtrack for Life” tunes that I used as motivation for my entire existence…be it to actually get up and move or to motivate myself internally. The ditty is from a… Read More »Just Put One Foot In Front Of The Other

Coping with Grief and AS

I was planning on writing about how people with chronically painful illnesses are dimensional and should not only be viewed through the lens of their disease…and it would have been a mighty post and it would have inspired many, but in fact, that’s not my mindset right now. Right now I am in grieving. I am grieving the person I used to be…the person that once was. As soon as I was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis, a new realm of support opened for me with my healthcare providing system of insurance-izzle HMO. I belong to a large HMO that really… Read More »Coping with Grief and AS

May The Fourth Be With You…

May 4, 2015 I birthed a Star Wars Geek. He is almost 9 years old and Stars Wars is his SPARK. He is a sponge when it comes to anything Star Wars, so that means that his mama (me) has by default come to know more about Star Wars that she ever though possible. A bit of background…Star Wars came out long before the 24-hour news cycle, before TV shows like Entertainment Tonight or entire cable channels devoted to “entertainment.” So when Star Wars premiered in the spring of 1977, it was advertised mostly by word of mouth. People of… Read More »May The Fourth Be With You…

Where Does Strength Come From?

I’m not sure if you noticed, but last week, no blog from me. I was in the hospital. Semi-not AS related, but come on, everything is AS-related in our bodies. I was MIA or as I like to say in-Kaiser-ated because my immune system allowed an insignificant insurgent bacteria to grow and duplicate and multiply and get way out of hand. Did it do this because it has been brainwashed to pay attention only to my spine or sacroiliac? Did my immune system miss a red flag when my armpit began to swell, redden and in the course of one… Read More »Where Does Strength Come From?

I’m Your Puppet

In 1966, two years before giving birth, James and  Bobby Purify (and R&B Duo) released the song I’m Your Puppet. The opening lyrics go like this, Pull the string and I’ll wink at you. I’m your puppet. I’ll do funny things if you want me to, I’m your puppet. Enduring a radical autoimmune disease and attempting to live some sort of normal life, I often feel like a puppet. Here, pull this string and I’ll make the bed. Now tug the string and I’ll get to the grocers. Yank that one right there and I will do whatever you want,… Read More »I’m Your Puppet

Why I Walk; Why You Walk

Why I Walk for Walk Your A.S. Off Why do I walk? I walk because I have to. I walk because walking is a fundamental action that on certain days seems impossible to me. I walk because spending a few weeks counting my steps, managing a team and encouraging others is what I do. Why do you walk? Well, if you don’t have A.S. you are walking in support of someone, most likely someone you know and maybe even love. If you are on my team, you are walking for me. You might be walking to pay me back for… Read More »Why I Walk; Why You Walk