In Their Own Words

Outgrowing the growing pains

There is a gap in medicine that perpetuates inequality based on age. The pandemic has accentuated this inequality to a dehumanizing extent leaving many young, chronically ill and disabled people in dire health circumstances.

Young is not synonymous for health and old is not synonymous for a lack of health. But to be a young disabled person amidst the pandemic is to be left to decay until your body does not respond to conservative treatment. It is to be left to become a case that is too complex for any doctor to take on – to be bounced around through endless referrals, holding onto hope that the next one will be the one.

Being a young disabled student during the pandemic, attempting to navigate an ageist health-care system, shines a line on the potential for self-teaching and the reality of what it means when it is said that knowledge is power.

When you are caught in a system that refuses to acknowledge you or to see you as a priority in needing care, you become the person educating providers about your conditions and their eminency.

The self-portraiture series Outgrowing the Growing Pains is a reflection of what can occur when our health-care system does not acknowledge the reality of young, chronically ill and disabled people. It is, a reflection of my ongoing reality, and my attempt to educate from my own experience.

Outgrowing The Growing Pains is my relentless endeavour to ensure that my story is not repeated.

The comments section is closed.

  • Isabel Ghorashy says:

    Such an important topic and an under represented demographic. Thank you for trying to make our battles seen and cries for help heard. One day at a time, one initiative at a time. Your work always moves me. All the best!

  • Elizabeth Rankin says:

    Dear Isra,
    Your story is remarkable and your endurance through this troubling time is a testament to your stamina.The ongoing disorganized health care system we endure is troubling as more money is poured in but doesn’t ensure things change.. I have’t the answer and one wonders, who does?

    I hope someone who has the knowledge and the courage to change things will address your concerns.

    Elizabeth Rankin, BScN ( former nurse who always tried to make a difference in the lives of my patients )


Isra Amsdr

Mount Allison University – Fourth Year Student
Sackville, New Brunswick

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