Hi Painful, and welcome to the family.
I'm sorry you're experiencing such horrid pain, and worse, that your own father doesn't seem to believe you. It's bad enough when doctor's disbelieve our pain and what we endure, but to have your own family. I have been there, though it was my boyfriend who was convinced I was faking it, that I was being lazy, that I was a hypocondriac. It doesn't help those of us with chronic pain at all, as it's devistating to our emotional state.
"Is there anyone else here that is young and has arthritic or is otherwise in severe pain, but because you are young or appear young, people don't take you seriously or tell you you haven't "earned" it?"
I'm in my late 30's now, infact my birthday's next month, and for 3 and a half years now I have lived with chronic pain as my new companion. It's very hard to adjust to this new life, to learn to pace myself, what my limits are, and how far I can push them before I do to much harm to myself. It's been a learning experience for my family too, as they're my support team. Even my son has had to learn just what his mother can and can not do with him; which is hard on him given he's 8 now. To add to my chronic pain I also have mildly arthritic knees from a rough life-style -- auto accident, martial arts accident, and a horse back riding accident have all taken their tolls. But if you were to pass me in the store you'd never know the pain I live with. Yes, people who don't know me find it extremely hard to believe that I'm permanently disabled, that the "disease" I have will only get worse with time (as it's already proven in the last 3 years), and often when I ask for assistance they look at me for a long moment and you can almost hear their thoughts. "Is she really that lazy?" "To good to do get dirty and do your own work?" For a long time it made me not want to ask for help, but recently I have learned that it's not worth the pain it causes me... so I just endure their looks. The hardest part is when I ask for help and I get none.
I'm hoping you've filed for unemployment, but if not, have you looked into state medicaid? I know I didn't qualify when I got unemployed; told me I made to much to qualify for it. But when my unemployment ran out I was able to get it, and it pretty much covered everything. In the mean time have you seen Pain Management Specialist yet? That was specialist number 7 for me, but he was also the one to finally figure out what was wrong with me. All my lab work was normal, my x-rays were normal, even my MRI's were normal, yet I was constantly in unbearable pain from in my right wrist and hand... with time it included my elbow, now it includes up to my sholder and a bit of my neck, making my entire right arm (my dominant one of course) pretty much painful even when I do little things like hold a cup of coffee. The worst times are when I'm laying down, doing nothing with it, and it hurts, and no matter how I lay I can't get it comfortable.
You will find that you'll always have a support team here for you, incase you haven't figured that much about all the wonderful folks here. They have wealth of knowledge and compassion, so don't ever be affraid to post because you need to vent. I know my email link is clickable, and I'm always happy to provide an ear to chew on.
As for your friends, do they know what you're dealing with? Do you think if they did they might cut you some slack and ease up with their teasing?
I know you may feel like a "cripple" or that you're a burden, but you're not. You do have alot to adjust too, and it won't happen over night. For the longest time I alternated between sad that the life I knew was gone, and this was my new life... or angery, angery that this happened to me, angery about how I was treated by some doctors; especially the one that told me "I can't find anything wrong with you, there for you're obviously fine." I was angery and hurt over the boyfriend who was convinced I was faking it, that I was just being lazy, that I didn't want to get a job, that I was happy to live with my parents, that I was a hypocondriac... and who eventually left me, and two months later was married to a coworker of his -- and we'd been together for about 5 years and engaged. I was angery at the man who wanted to be my husband and my son's father, who said he understood, but in the end didn't. Nor could he deal with my disability and kept telling me to give up doing everything I loved, to stop putting myself in pain (I'm in pain regardless what I do, but I'm also supposed to fight my condition and use my arm so that it doesn't completely atrophee and have to be removed) because my pain got in the way of his happiness. So I do understand what you're going through. It seems unless someone deals with chronic pain they just don't understand what we live with, but if they could spend a day in our shoes they might be a bit more understanding, supportive, and compassionate.
That isn't to say all people are bad, and that there aren't kind, caring, helpful and compassionate people out there. But I'm really glad that you found this place, I know I cried tears of joy when I did... to finally be understood, and actually meet others who deal with the same rare condition I have. You will always find people here that will be here to help, and to listen. So remember, you're not alone, you're not a bad person, and you're not a burden. Please keep in touch. *hugs*
Originally injured 10/26/2007 - Initial diagnosis; Tendonitis
Spent next year seeing specialist after specialist; Bone, Muscle, Hand, Neurologist, Chriopractor, Physical Therapist...
Went through a battery of tests, multiple MRI's
11/16/09 I was finally diagnosed CRPS - Stage 2
Permanently disabled, on Percoset.
February 2011 successful SCSU trial
No surgeon willing to do my SCSU Implant