“People who don’t complain and try harder are rewarded, says the messaging, while other people deserve their situations because they don’t appreciate what they have or aren’t willing to cooperate with the people who are just trying to help them.
“Health is a highly variable thing. … Two people with asthma, for instance, can have radically different experiences. One of them might respond extremely well to medications, could experience some benefits with dietary changes, and might find that the asthma is very controllable. … This is the good asthma patient, the one who tried harder and succeeded and is doing well and is a model for other patients.
“The other asthma patient tries a series of inhalers that don’t work very well. … The patient tries complementary medicine to see if it will be effective, but it’s not, really. This patient is constantly relying on a rescue inhaler, wheezes on short walks up the stairs, has poorly controlled asthma. …
“Yet, this patient is trying, and is following all the directives. This patient is taking medications and considering other options and meeting regularly with a care provider. The patient’s asthma just isn’t very responsive to treatment, which means there’s going to be a lifetime of struggle with hospitalizations, endless switches between medications, and other problems. Not because the patient is a bad person unwilling to bootstrap out of chronic illness, but because the patient’s particular manifestation of illness is refractory.
“Illness is not uniform. …
“Anyone who does’t [sic] ‘try harder’ is thrown away like so much garbage and deemed unworthy of assistance, and the mectric [sic] used to determine if someone is trying hard enough is always based on the views of an outsider.“ (Emphasis added.) Read more