Comparisons with Chronic Illness

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A need for comparisons of chronic illness

Comparisons with Chronic Illness Kirsten Wiig
Did you ever know anyone who has to make comparisons with chronic illness? They are always more sick and get less sympathy. They have more extreme side effects and less support…

Chronic illness is just like other things – some people just need to compare. It’s like they have a need to win something. I doubt there really is a sickest award for a most pitiful story so I’d gladly let that person have “more RA”- or whatever else – than I have.

Aren’t comparisons with chronic illness silly?

Comparisons with chronic illness are actually pretty silly. What proof is there that one person has more pain? And what good would it do someone to triumph?

But for some people it seems very important. One person I know actually wants to prove she can endure more serious medical problems than I have with less medical attention. Is she trying to prove she’s stronger? What would she win?

Kristin Wiig, as Saturday Night Live‘s Penelope in Group Therapy with Liza Minnelli and Neil Patrick Harris, captures perfectly the lady who always has more of everything than everyone else. Of course, that includes more illness. Her exaggerating will crack you up. If you’re like me, you’ll imagine that special someone who you know and enjoy the sweetest revenge of all – laughter.

Maybe after the video, you can imagine Kristin doing Penelope as a patient making comparisons with chronic illness: “You think you have insomnia? I haven’t slept in five years. Treatments? I’ve tried 400 types with no results at all. Except that I actually died from the side effects. They resuscitated me. It was the Queen of England who gave me mouth to mouth. You think you have swelling? My little toe was the size of a pregnant whale…”

What kind of comparisons with chronic illness bug you?


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Kelly Young. All rights reserved.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 20th, 2010 at 7:00 am and is filed under Can we laugh now?. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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