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AM I too Young???

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,521
Way too often we all read comments from some of our younger members where they talk about their doctors note not performing functions based on age.

You are too young to:
  • - Have injections- Have surgery- Have pain- Take narcotics- etc
The list can go on and on. That mindset has always bothered me. Pain does not discriminate . Doesn't matter what age you are, where you live, what nationality you come from, your religion, you race, etc

A person at 21 years old can have the exact some problem and pain as a 50 year old, a 60 year old a 70 year old But way too often, those younger folks are told (in more or less this words0

Suck it up, you are too young for all of this, just go out and exercise and you will be ok

A person with the exact problem, but at age 45 sees the same doctor and the results are so much different.

Doctor says Ok, your tests are showing some problems, we have a couple of options to take, each one with pros and cons.....

To me, this is all wrong. If you have a problem, you have a problem, regardless of age. I think the only advantage in being young, is that since your body is still relatively strong, you can bounce back quicker and stronger than someone older .

I would just like to never hear the words Oh, you are too young for .......

Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 


  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 2,561
    edited 09/26/2015 - 3:05 AM
    Yes I've heard that many times not just for treatments but by medical staff as what seemed like compassion. This won't be apples to apples but I look back when I had cancer , no one in my cancer specialty hospital said that, family and friends did, but at a place where you have seen cancer at any and all ages , it's staring you in the face on scans the only concern was to get ahead of it before it got out of hand. to get ahead of it before it got out of hand. The crazy thing was they wanted to treat it fast so I could get back to being young. I think that should be the motto and eliminate the age descrimination. take into consideration that that young person usually is in school, starting a career and does not have much money or time off or trust with employer to take time off to get better, so keeping them going is of huge importance. They many times have just began a family and have young ones that need the physical parts of parenting.
    I also think if you polled people that are young and in piain they would trade pretty much anything for 10, 20 years being in less pain for worse pain later in life. They want to get to live a bit, start career and family
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,521
    Now that I am in the later years (65), I have to think about your statement.

    I dealt pretty well with all the pain and surgeries when I was younger. Sure, I missed out on some things, but overall I was more resilant and flexible and could bounce back from setbacks.

    Now, that I am older, my most serious, if I can even say that problems are behind me. Now, that I am retired , my wife semi-retired, we want to spend more time doing all the things we want to do (travel, vacations, whatever) I know that because of all those problems when I was younger, I am paying the long term price. I am slower, cant move around the way I want to , we have to plan in advance to do things, etc.

    So, I would never forgo my early problems and have them later in life. Knowing what I deal with now, I could never deal with all of it later on in life.

    But this is me, in my reality, my life. Every one can look at this from different perspectives. There really isn't any wrong or right.

    Pay now, or pay later --- I just wish none of us have to pay at all.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 2,561
    edited 09/26/2015 - 1:02 PM
    Me to
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 2,561
    edited 09/27/2015 - 4:34 AM
    Yea I agree it's two different perspectives and who knows if at 60 I would feel the same. It just seems if I had built a family, had a good career with decent retirement that I could look back and be proud even if was way worse when older. Plus I hope I don't care as much what people think by then and I have developed better coping by an older age.
    Just out of curiosity what do you think you answer would have been in your 30's, same or different?
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,521
    No question, in my 20's, and 30's, all I thought was WHY... Cant all of this wait until I get old and dont care...

    I have changed over the years, no doubt about that. And I am sure that many spinal patients change over time.

    I do like this discussion, because it is close to my feelings and I think (if others started to look at it) they could see different perspectives.

    You and I are not really that different. You have the analytic mind, always thinking, which is good.... I on the other hand stand more with now, the reality of whats happening. Put us both together, and there is an awesome pair.

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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  • The "too young" thing is really infuriating to me. When I first started having serious pain problems I was in my mid thirties... not exactly young, but apparently still young enough to affect the doctors' judgement. I had MRIs with very clear bilateral spondylolisthesis along with stenosis. Very clear. But doctor after doctor said I was too young for surgery. One even said that straight out that a fusion was clearly indicated, but that he never operates on anyone under 40. Really??? It took years to find a surgeon who acted on the data from the images instead of my age and it made a huge difference. Yeah, I am still in pain all the time, but not to the extreme it was before my fusion. Back then the pain had me suicidal, but doctor after doctor told me I was too young.

    Things are different now that I am in my mid forties and have hardware in my spine. I get treated so much more respectfully. The doctors listen to me much more than 8-10 years ago. They don't give that skeptical look now. They are more engaged and willing to act before I end up off work for weeks or in the ER. I'm definitely happy that I'm being treated better, but I can't help but hold a grudge about how I was treated 10 years ago.

    Sometimes I fantasize about going back to all of those doctors and telling them just how wrong they were... how their attitude made things worse...how they failed to live up to the Hippocratic Oath. Then I come to my senses and remember how arrogant they were, and I realize that my words would fall on deaf ears just like before.

    I really feel for the young folks I see posting here whose quality of life is suffering because of arrogant or hardheaded doctors dismissing them as too young.
  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 2,561
    I wanted to go back to and then I realized they could care less.
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
  • Being "too young" has ruled my life and my health. Nobody takes me seriously because there is no way someone my age could have these issues. My first time dealing with constant doctors was when it was found I had cancer when I was 12, with a 25% chance of recurrence. Then chronic back pain starting from when I was 13. It has always been attributed to stress, or being overweight, because I was too young to be having these issues. Occasionally it gets bad enough that I end up in the ER and urgent, and promptly get treated like a pill seeking junkie. The look you get when you show up in your early 20's with back pain I will never forget.

    So after all of that I stopped going to the doctor. I got fed up with being told I was fat and stressed, nothing we can do for you, please pay at the door. I buy my motrin now at big club stores and have a bottle nearby most of the time., and a bottle of tums to go with it. I would only go into the doctor if I felt I was in serious trouble - all my doctor visits were urgent care visits. Two years ago I wrecked my motorcycle going easily over 40mph wearing hardly any safety gear. It took my two months before I decided that it was bad enough to go in. Turns out I had fractured my humeral head and fractured my thumb. "Keep it flexible and take it easy, these typically hurt over a year."

    A year ago I started being more sick all of the time so I started going the doctor more regularly again. Every symptom still had a dismissal. "Half the time I stand up I feel like I'm going to pass out, and have hurt myself doing so". All I would get back "try getting up slower." My issues are always intermittent, and always dismissed. 6 months ago the nausea and upset stomach landed me in the ER. Every test still comes back negative.

    Now I am confined to bed for the last week. Standing up for more than 10 minutes causes pain and shaking that lasts for hours. I'm close to losing my job from how much work I've missed over the last year. They can't call me fat anymore, I weight less than I do when I was 13 by nearly 20 pounds now. My MRI from yesterday shows spinal cord compression on the radiologists report. Turns out at 32 I must still be too young for this. I got off a call this morning from the physiatrist that ordered the test. "I just don't see anything here that would explain the issues you are having". I have an appointment with another doctor today. The only thing I am hoping for is that it doesn't hurt me enough that I can't get to sleep again tonight.

    My advice to anyone reading this. Be noisy, complain loudly and often. Pride has no use in the doctors office. I sucked it up and just kept going and definitely regret it. Today I am demanding a referral to both of the top notch spine centers in the US that are near me that my insurance thankfully covers.
    All questions and answers are given from a personal perspective only. I have congenital stenosis from C4-C7, and T7-S1. I am actively being seen my by doctor and following his advice. I strongly suggest that you do the same.
  • Max_LeeMax_Lee New York, United StatesPosts: 389
    I have been told I'm too young to have all the spine issues I have, that I should just take some Motrin, suck it up, and deal. I started out with C4/C5 - C5/C6 when I was 19 at BCT. Nobody caught it for two months. I did what I was told by the doctors and the Drill Sergeants - I'm still in pain, I can't take Motrin, and now conservative measures (PT, injections, meds) are failing me because nothing was done sooner. I got thrown out of BCT with the only treatment given being NSAIDs and a few sit-downs with a psychologist (because I was 'faking' and my command didn't want to hear it even though I had evidence to the contrary). I went to a spine specialist, who referred me to pain management and PT, startled at what had (hadn't) been done to that point. I got to PT twice a week, take Gabapentin, and have had epidural steroid injections; all useless. I've been told I'm too young for surgery. Too young for stronger medication.
    Of course I'm too young. I'm too young to have had three pain crises in six months, too young to have to have seen nothing be done for me because I'm 'making it all up to get out of training', too young for multilevel spinal issues, and too young to have lost my job over this. Someone in their early 20s shouldn't know what a epidural steroid injection feels like. They shouldn't feel alone because their social life is dependent on their pain. They shouldn't have to know how to talk to insurance companies to cover pain management and physical therapy. They shouldn't have to be on the sidelines, watching their friends play sports, wishing they could be out there.
    Be your own best advocate. If no one will listen to you, keep going until someone does. Keep a pain diary and record what's happening to you, it can be a valuable tool (and keep a journal if you like - it can help to put your feelings somewhere). Most importantly - and I know it's hard - try not to push away the people around you. I know it's hard living with pain, and it can make us lash out at those that care, but we all need someone in our corner.
     "The loneliest people are the kindest. The saddest people smile the
    brightest. The most damaged people are the wisest. All because they do
    not wish to see anyone else suffer the way they do.''-Anonymous

    My Story: https://www.spine-health.com/forum/discussion/90688/pain/neck-pain-cervical/help#latest

  • At 23, my primary doctor noted the spondylolisthesis but said, and I quote, "lots of people have back pain. You are young so yours can't be that bad. You're just going to have to find a better way to deal with it."

    WTF. My way of trying to deal with it was this visit. Tosser.
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