By Kylee Grace Schmuck: For Complete Post, Click Here…
So you’re in your late teens or 20s and have been diagnosed with chronic pain. Now what? I sense some of the overwhelming and intrusive thoughts in your brain. “I can’t even drink, but I have to live in pain,” “How could this happen? I’m only 20” and other variations of these types of questions race in your head. You start calculating how many years you’ll be living in pain. Half your life? Three-fourths? Two-thirds? Anything more than half is likely, and you’re terrified.
You start drowning. Drowning without any hope or possibilities in sight. You sit in waiting rooms for specialists and doctors, most often surrounded by those much older than you. You’re given strange looks. Maybe someone will ask why “someone like you” is in a place like this. You won’t know how to respond. You’ll look down and mumble something about having an appointment.
Navigating a diagnosis of chronic pain is never easy, no matter your age, race or gender. However, since being diagnosed with chronic pain and femoral acetabular impingement (FAI) at a relatively young age, I’ve learned that age can present a number of interesting and unique challenges.
You’ll need to cultivate skills, similar to those that anyone diagnosed with chronic pain needs to develop. You need to learn how to properly research various treatment options that may be suggested, how to effectively deal with insurance company and how to advocate for yourself and what you feel is best with anyone who may be on your treatment team.