I’m not trying to make you paranoid, but when you go to the doctor, are you being stereotyped? Categorized as an “older person” with all the concomitant assumptions about your health? I read this article by Dr. Mark Lachs, and he says it better than I can. We’re not all alike, as people or as patients, and this doesn’t become LESS true as we age.
When I was 40, I was misdiagnosed with “Irritable Bowel Syndrome” – a common ailment in my demographic – and told to eat more fiber, drink more water, and exercise more (I was already doing all that.) I suffered for about 18 months. Finally I ended up in the ER and they removed 9 inches of my intestine, which had been closing off due to scar tissue from an earlier surgery.
No wonder it was irritated.