When People Tell Me I'm 'Too Young to Be This Sick'


I wish there actually was an age requirement for illness and chronic pain. I know my life would have been very different if my body hadn’t been allowed to feel pain or illness while young. I would have gone to college. Fulfilled my dreams. Traveled. Worked. Followed my passions as far as they would take me.

But, contrary to what some think when they say I’m too young for this, the reality is that I was born with this. It became really bad, to the point where I was sent to a nephrologist, when I was 3 years old. I’ve had pain throughout my entire life. It worsened when I was 18, became more severe when I was 23, and even worse in my 30s when my body added additional health issues.

 

I see this topic all the time. People are being hurt because others are telling them they are too young to be sick, too young to be in pain, too young to be on these medications.

That is ignorance speaking. The body is a very complex thing, and anything can go wrong, at any moment, at any age. To believe otherwise is ludicrous.

Some people who have said these things to me were saying it because they cared about me and hated to see me in pain so young. They didn’t mean that it’s not possible; they just felt sorry it was my reality. That’s not offensive. That’s kind of them – that they wish I didn’t have these problems at a young age.

But, there are some doctors and some people who, when they say it, they are truly implying that you can’t be this sick or in this much pain because you are young. It’s their “polite” way of saying they don’t believe what you are telling them. As though age can dictate whether someone is being honest about how awful they are feeling.

It’s irresponsible for a doctor to say those things. They, of all people, should know people can get sick at any age. Saying “you’re too young” is their way of dismissing the patient.

No one is too young to be sick or in pain. People don’t have a “get out of illness free” card that works until they reach a certain age. It’s a ridiculous thing to say. Age doesn’t define health.

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Thinkstock photo via Jupiterimages.


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