Hey, so I was wondering if there was anyone else on here who is 19-25 who is living with fibromyalgia/chronic pain. Since I'm young, people constantly belittle my disability, and are constantly critical of the medication I need to take to manage my pain, as well as my other symptoms. Are there any other younger disabled people on here who have had the same experiences?
I'm 18 will be 19 in April. I've had crps since I was 11 and my entire life all I've heard is "you're too young to be ill", you're too beautiful to be ill" or "you're too smart to be ill" and I always say back, there's babies born that are sick, just because you're ill doesn't mean you can't be beautiful and there's many many smart people that are ill. Some people have ableist thoughts beaten into their heads since they were born. I understand what they are trying to say. But what they are saying is not right. You just always have to remember that they are saying it out of the kindness of their heart's and I always see it as an opportunity to educate people. If you can Google some people with chronic illnesses that are successful. The only person Thats coming to mind at the moment is paula abdule for some reason lol. She has had CRPS (same thing I have) since she was in high school and she's very successful. But there's many many more people out there.
I usually get it when I'm in a wheelchair or using my cane. The WORST comment was when I was in an electronic scooter, and this man came up to me and said "are you having fun in that scooter? Isn't that for sick people?" And I just replied with "well, it would probably be more fun if I could actually walk." And then just scooted off. People are so unintentionally ableist. There needs to be way more education in schools and in the media on "how to act when you meet a disabled people", which is basically just "be nice" and "literally do what you do when you meet anyone else".
I have hypermobile EDS and was diagnosed at 14, even when I'm using my cane people don't quite believe I have anything wrong, my sister is the worst, she outwardly laughed when I was walking down the street using my cane, I completely agree with the above statement that some people have ableist thoughts beaten into their heads, I'm one of them and the internal ableism I face is the worst
I'm now in my 30s, and I still get nasty comments about being too young to have so many health problems. My GP even made fun of me for having to use a cane when I was having trouble walking (due to muscle spasms in my legs). He told me "Only old people use those things."
I'm so sorry to hear that you all are being treated badly. It seems to be common for those that have not experienced long-term pain to put down, insult, or be skeptical of what we are going through. Just keep doing your thing and ignore all of the negativity the best you can! <3
The first time I had to use a wheelchair, my GP told me that she felt like using the wheelchair was an "exaggeration of my pain", which she could not possibly know. Since I've been seeing her for about 2 years now, and she's seen the evolution of my pain struggles, she is a lot more understanding now. And yes I totally agree that internalized ableism that disabled people have that has been put in our brains since childhood, can be so incredibly damaging. We give ourselves a much harder time than anyone else ever could. We think we're lazy, or over dramatic, but really all we are is sick. It's really bad being young and dealing with personal internalized ableism. I can't even count how many times I've said to myself "come on! You're too young to have these problems, you're just lazy and ignoring your responsibilities!"
I'm 15, diagnosed with CRPS at 14. Have had all sorts of pain growing up, and in my first big project (at my dream school) I ended up at the ER. Not fun...but I remember fighting to stay at school and a few of my teachers and the nurse told me to go home, but other people just said "you're just being dramatic. I had pain, and I'm fine"