Before I knew I was the proud owner of an immune system that couldn’t tell self from invader, doctors pushed sedatives on me.
They hypothesized that my buffet of bodily dysfunctions — stabbing pain around my lungs, clawed hands, ruddy and hot joints — were provoked by overwork and exams, stress or anxiety. Something of my doing, or my response to something of my doing.
Then I found out I had an autoimmune disease. And if we’re going to get all psychological about it, it’s like having the mutant spawn of Hannibal Lecter, the self-cannibal of all illnesses. We sufferers allegedly have an acute case of self-loathing with a side order of death wish.
That’s a metaphoric sledgehammer with which to clobber the ever-increasing number of sufferers.
Why do I need this illness?