You? Arthritis? Aren’t you a bit young?

May 2, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Posted in arthrits, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, joint pai, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 10 Comments
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You know, when I was first diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis six years ago, when I was 39, comments like that used to really annoy me. I lost count of the number of people who said things like ‘Oh, aren’t you a bit young for that? My granny has that. She’s lost some weight lately though and feels so much better.’

‘Why do people have to make dumb comments like that?’ I’d wonder. So I’d try educating them – I’d patiently explain that what I had was rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease where my body has decided it’s a neat idea to attack its own joints, whereas what their granny had was probably osteoarthritis.

My favourite response to that was ‘Oh no – she had a big bowl of cereal every day and had really strong bones.’ So I then had to explain that osteoarthritis was ‘wear and tear’ arthritis, and what they were thinking of with the milk was osteoporosis, which is a reduction in bone density that can lead to fractures amongst other things, and which can (maybe … sometimes) be avoided by a good calcium intake.

Usually, with a few deep breaths and counts to ten, I would manage an explanation that convinced them that granny and I didn’t have the same thing – but it did used to drive me nuts.

Now, seven years on, I’m 45, overweight, look 50 on a bad day, and nobody says ‘Aren’t you too young for that?’ any more.

I kind of miss it.



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  1. I don’t know if you meant this to be funny or not, but it made me smile. I have heard my share of the you are too young comments as well. Just like not getting carded anymore buying beer, I’ll miss those comments as well.

  2. I’d have been mighty disappointed if at least one person didn’t find it funny! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it … and wish I’d thought of the beer analogy first!

  3. Whilst I’m only 28, I definitely feel the pain of the ‘You’re too young to have Arthritis’ comment – Thanks for the smile!
    I’m off to check out the rest of your blog!

  4. Hi Tash, glad it made you smile and I hope you enjoy the rest of the blog! 🙂

  5. I was diagnosed with RA at the age of 27. I was bullied by my teammates (I’m a tennis player) telling me that I was too young to have an arthritis, but I understand that they were not aware what Rheumatoid Arthritis is. I was able to get over arthritis after 3 years of finding the right solution for me after I finished my last stem cell treatment with my ortho surgeon, Dr Purita. The therapy took 5 weeks and I was able to recover completely 2 months after my last session.

  6. Oh, Polly. Gosh, you just have to laugh to keep from crying, huh? Thanks for the smile!

  7. […] Pollyanna Penguin patiently educates those who tell her that their granny cured arthritis with a big bowl of cereal and milk everyday. […]

  8. Hi Michael, you had a really rought time by the sound of it, but I’m delighted you found something that worked for you!!

  9. Hello, this is the first time I have ever visited your blog, so I wanted to leave a comment for you. First off, I wanted to say congrats on creating such a great blog, my girlfriend is starting her own and it certainly takes some time and effort! However, I will admit that I had another purpose for leaving this comment today. Last month was Arthritis Awareness Month, and I helped to put together an infographic in honor of this widespread event. While I tried to share it with as many people as possible over the course of May, there were of inevitably many that I was just not able to reach during the month. So, I figured that it wouldn’t hurt to reach out to some more people this month, because spreading awareness for the many forms of arthritis (such as JA or RA) is a crucial undertaking that requires a little more time. If you are interested then I invite you to check out my arthritis awareness infographic and share it with others! The infographic is visible at:

  10. Hi! How are you doing now? Just like Michael, my OA was completely treated through stem cell with Dr Purita. He is very supportive and he dealt with my joint pain problems professionally. I had PT but it didn’t go well for my joints, reason why I switched to stem cell treatment….

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