I was just doing a little side-digging on rheumatoid arthritis — an autoimmune, inflammatory condition — and came across this line on the Arthritis Foundation website:
“Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease, meaning it can’t be cured.”
Who decided that the definition of a chronic disease is one that can’t be cured? Why?
The “incurableness” of chronic diseases is a pervasive and, in my opinion, pernicious belief. It’s the foundation and subtle undertone for any conversation about treating and dealing with chronic disease. But there’s nothing about chronicity, per se, that lends itself to the inability to cure it. Chronicity can end. A sentence is a chronic series of letters that eventually ends. Like that one right there.
By the way, guess who tells me that eczema can’t be cured? The National Eczema Association. Feel free to check them out so you can learn all about how to “live with eczema.” (This is how I decided to live with eczema.)
Maybe it’s a bad idea to set up and devote precious resources to organizations that would have to shut down if a disease was cured?
Our health care system treats chronic disease like it’s a club membership.
Animals get cures. We get organizations and welcome pamphlets.
I know, I’m so cynical. But I can’t help it. It’s chronic.