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Way Too Young to Feel This Old

I can relate to the words on the T-shirt (I’m Way Too Young to Feel This Old). I used to be an active person. I worked and traveled the world. I was physically active, but that all changed when I had an emergency. Part of my right lung died, which doctors believe was due to an embolism, though no proof has been found. Since then, my health has tanked and it seems that every time I go to a doctor, I’m diagnosed with a new disease. It took a long time for PsA to be diagnosed. I have that, asthma, GERD, diabetes, lymphedema, cellulitis, ankylosing spondylitis, sleep apnea, a throat that closes during exhaling, a rupture behind my eyeball, teeth are breaking, etc.
I am constantly fatigued, but sleep very little. I’m in my early 50s and my 80 and 90 year old uncles and aunts help me out sometimes. There are some days I feel ‘good’ for me (though most people would consider it a bad day). However, there are days I cannot lift my arms to brush my hair or can barely hold a cup. My back always hurts, but there are days that are worse than others.
When I am having a good day, I like to try to give back to people. I’ve started hand sewing stuffed animals and donate them to senior facilities, women and children’s centers, centers for Alzheimer patients, and have given some to people in hospitals. No two animals are alike. It makes me feel good when someone picks out an animal and smiles and hugs it. I also volunteer with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Though I had to give up my teaching profession and go on disability (which was a very hard pill to swallow, since I’ve worked since I was 14), I try to remain a positive person and know that other people have their issues, as well. Still, going from being a very independent person to a person who at times is dependent on others, is humbling. The constant pain also keeps me from being as upbeat as often as I’d like, though I try. Most often, I still smile through the pain. Having a strong faith and a positive attitude helps me endure. Besides, I’m a better weather forecaster than most meteorologists.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Psoriatic-Arthritis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Casey moderator
    2 years ago

    Oh my goodness, Eurotrekker, what a story. We’re so glad and honored that you took the time to share all of that with us. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve endured so much throughout your life, and to hear about all of your other diagnoses. I actually wanted to share one of our sister sites with you for asthma, since you mentioned struggling with that as well, https://asthma.net/

    I’m so sorry to hear that you’re struggling with fatigue and pain, however, I was truly moved reading about your commitment to serving others with your handmade stuffed animals and volunteer work. You are an amazing individual, and such a warrior. Your attitude and outlook on life is equally incredible and so inspiring. Please continue to share with us, we’re so grateful to have you in our community. Clearly, after reading others’ comments on this post, it’s easy to see that your story, writing, and attitude is relatable and connectable to others here.

    Warmly, Casey (Psoriatic-Arthritis.com Team)

  • Eurotrekker author
    2 years ago

    Casey, if you keep this up, I may develop a big head!

  • Casey moderator
    2 years ago

    Gosh, you continue to impress and astound me, Eurotrekker! Your words in your most recent comment are so perfect (as usual!). Not only am I impressed by all you do for your friends and family, but your words on caring for one another and connecting as human beings really spoke to me and warmed my heart and soul. Thank you for making my day and sharing this positive attitude on life. I’m eager to read more of your updates and comments in the future! We’re so grateful to have you in our community! : ) Warmly, Casey (Psoriatic-Arthritis.com Team

  • Eurotrekker author
    2 years ago

    Aw, thanks. I’m one of the few people who likes to write handwritten letters to friends.
    I also make up children’s stories and illustrate them for my friends’ children. I did the same for my students when I taught writing. I tried to make it fun and several times our stories were read over the intercom for the whole school to hear. The kids were thrilled.
    I genuinely care about people and even served as a missionary today a foreign country for a while. If you take out the political factors, and just listen to the everyday people, you’ll notice we have many of the same hopes of love, Independence, a nice place to live, friends, health for ourselves and for our family and friends. One thing about an illness like PsA, it’s the great equalizer. It does not care if you are rich, poor, tall, short, American or foreign, educated by books or by life experiences, and on and on. Look at the replies that are written. No one cares about the above things. They talk about what they have and listen and give support to those whom are experiencing the same symptoms. We are brothers and sisters at that moment.

  • Casey moderator
    2 years ago

    Thanks for the info, Eurotrekker! I will have to check it out! You are truly awesome, and I hope you’ve been having a good week so far.

    On another note, I just wanted to tell you that I’ve seen some of your other comments around the site. Your support toward other members is absolutely incredible, and we are so beyond grateful to have members like you in our community. Have a wonderful weekend if we don’t get a chance to talk before then! Warmly, Casey (Psoriatic-Arthritis.com Team)

  • Eurotrekker author
    2 years ago

    Thank you for your kind words and the link for asthma. You are so kind hearted. If you want to see some of my stuffed animals, I have a FB page called From the Heart Donations.

  • Jim Snedden moderator
    2 years ago

    i am 51 and you nailed it.

  • Eurotrekker author
    2 years ago

    I like your username. I’m sorry you’re going through this, too. I wish no one had to endure it. However, I must admit that I don’t feel as weird as I did before. Hang in there and just realize that somebody’s got to keep the doctors on their toes. If there weren’t people like us, the unemployment rates would sky rocket. Think of her many people we keep working.

  • Koffegurl
    2 years ago

    You took the words right out of my mouth. My strong faith and positive attitude make a world of difference. I can’t imagine how far worse I’d be without it! I can’t wait to get my shirt as saying “I’m too young to be in this much pain” has been my mantra for more than 35 years.

  • Eurotrekker author
    2 years ago

    I’m sorry you have the same stuff going on in your life. I do admit that it helps me be a bit more empathetic for those who are struggling with their own issues. And frankly, compared to what Christ endured, this is nothing.
    We ought to all get together sometime and have a cookout. I would say we could have a 5K run, but whom of us would or could do that? Eating is much more fun anyway.

  • TanjD
    2 years ago

    This was almost like reading my own story. Thank you for sharing

  • Eurotrekker author
    2 years ago

    You mean I have a twin? How exciting. But you poor thing. I’m sorry you are going through this. It’s tough, I really do know. However, we’ve got to keep on going. In fact, my Dean it to start a touring agency that deals with people with disabilities, but aren’t too old, yet. I would love to come places in Europe that would accommodate wheelchairs, have multiple resting periods and little walking, with flexible schedules. However, that takes connections and money. I have neither. I have friends i throughout Europe, but ty are in different fields. Maybe a few of us could get together sometime and plan a trip, blog about it and start making connections. Wouldn’t that be fun?

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