Friday, May 3, 2013

WAAD Systemically Connected Blog Carnival Post 1. (But You're too Young)

I can still hear these words ringing in my ear almost 26 years later. "You're too young to have Arthritis, only old people get it." I was diagnosed when I was 24 years "young" I looked fine on the outside, if you looked close you would see the finger on my right hand was bent. Take a look at my wrists, you could see they were fused.

My Family doctor sent me to a "Pain specialist" When I arrived, I found out this doctor was a Psychiatrist. Several hours later, the answer he gave me? You're not that bad you managed to do your hair and makeup to be here today. Several years later another one questioned if I even had RA he wanted proof, I gave him my Rheumatologist's phone number and left.

   Here is a photo of me at age 24:

I was having a hard time dealing with my diagnosis, so I looked for a local support group to join. When I got there nobody in the group was under 60, everyone looked at me with pity and said the same thing "but you're so young." This was repeated everywhere I went. I shrugged it off at first, it annoyed me, made me sad, but I never said a word. I felt like hitting every person that said it with my cane. I remember saying to the person helping me at the time, "the next person that says that is going to get it!"

I don't know why people think just because you're young you must not be ill. I have said under my breath " you don't look stupid" but you must be. This pertains to the looks I get when I have to park in a handicapped spot as well but that's another topic! 

I have said this before, and this bears repeating anyone can be diagnosed with Autoimmune Arthritis. Children are diagnosed everyday with JIA, Lupus, and other Autoimmune Arthritis Diseases. When you hear someone is ill, don't say "you're too young" try saying "I'm sorry to hear that, what can I do to help?" 


  1. Tienes razón, no hay que compadecer sino ayudar. Saludos, Cris

  2. I wanted to join a support group too at diagnosis when I was 32. I phoned The Arthritis Society and got referred to the Bluebird Club. I never did make it to a meeting. The only met on Tuesdays in the daytime and I was still working. I think they were all over 70.
    There are so many young people with RA and their issues are so different from those who are older. My friend feels so much anguish because at 29 she has no boyfriend, no job and no prospects of getting her life on track soon. She's hoping for good results from a new drug but she had a bad and rare reaction to her last one.
    Great picture of you at 24

    1. Thanks Annette, I hope your friend gets great results from the medication. I know how she feels. Finding a partner who understands and will stick with you with a chronic illness isn't easy but is possible. A divorce later I have one, I may not have had the career however I do have a great husband and kids and grandkids to show for it. I hope she sees all of us and knows there is hope. I'm glad she has you.

  3. If I had a nickel for every time I have heard "but you're so young!" I'd be a millionare! I'm 41 and was only diagnosed w/ RA 2 years ago, but my family doctor is pretty sure I've probably had some type of auto-immune arthritis since my teens that has been misdiagnosed all these years, based on my medical history. I started having serious knee injuries and was first told I had osteoarthritis when I was 15 - and that's when the "but you're so young" chorus started. And it's never stopped. Every orthopedic surgeon I've ever gone to, every hospital I've gone to for surgery, every imaging center, every lab, it gets so old and love you're under the breath come back....I think I'll steal that - but I'll probably say it out loud....Thanks for a great post!! And happy belated birthday!! :)

    1. I agree, I was diagnosed at 23, I'm ok I can't say the number. Scroll through my posts and you will see the number. I would be rich as well. I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Your history sounds like mine, some of my doctors suspect I may have had RA since childhood, they can't "prove" it though.
      Yo'ure a lot braver than me to say it out loud :) let me know the results you get. Thank you for your kind comments, I went to your page, you have a great blog and I'm following you now as well. Sorry I took so long to reply with everything going on I'm behind. I hope you're having a low pain week.


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