Elias has a trio of chronic pain syndromes, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn’s disease and fibromyalgia. Ankylosing spondylitis is the least well-known of these conditions, and involves a cycle of inflammation, calcification, scarring and bone formation that can actually fuse vertebrae together over time. Crohn’s disease is a form of inflammatory bowel syndrome, and of course fibromyalgia refers to widespread chronic pain, so Elias is in a very complex pain situation.

In this episode of the Major Pain podcast, Elias discusses living with their multiple health conditions. They rely on their service dog and family for emotional and physical support, as well as mobility aids such as forearm crutches and a wheelchair. Elias refers to themself as being ‘professionally disabled,’ but enjoys crafting and other forms of distraction therapy that provide comfort and meaning in their routine. They discuss having a largely invisible illness, and how difficult it can be to get care when doctors can’t see the problem. They share information about each of their diseases, as well as tales of receiving their multiple diagnoses and how their life has been impacted.

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