There’s rather a lot I can identify with in this:
When I was 18, I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis. The following year, I lost the ability to walk, and was ignored by doctors who looked at my age before my symptoms. I struggled with finding a treatment and getting some mobility back.
When I was 20, I started experiencing some mysterious symptoms, including rapid weight loss, pain, bleeding, and more. I desperately searched for an answer, and eventually, a treatment.
The journey itself, to diagnosis and treatment, was incredible, difficult, and enlightening. Living with the disorders has been eye opening as well. Chronic illness is an invitation for everyone to comment: either with regards to a cause, a treatment, or otherwise. Suddenly, everyone’s aunt is an expert and everyone’s fad diet a cure. You wade through a constant stream of ignorance and lies, in a desperate attempt to find peace and a stop to pain. In my years living with both disorders I have been faith healed, poked, prodded, stuffed with powders and magic potions, and now is my opportunity to tell everyone about it.
My conditions were different, as were the exact problems they created on the side, but the experience of being disabled at an age when life is supposed to be treating you well has certain universalities.
Ania Bula (DearAnia) is writing about that experience in a book called, Young, Sick and Invisible: A Skeptic’s Journey With Chronic Illness. She’s funding it through IndieGogo, which means you can get yourself a copy and help support her through the writing process. I know I’m not the only person at this blog who is going to be interested in having a copy. If it’s a book you want–for yourself or for someone near you who needs someone to explain this stuff to them–check it out.