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?"