Advocacy / Arthritis / Journey to Wellness / Personal Stories / Wellness

Rant Time: Don’t “Quantify” the Sick Girl


You know how it’s rude to say things like, “you throw okay … for a girl.” Or, “you run pretty fast … for being so big.” It’s also somewhat insulting to say things like, “wow! You’ve accomplished so much … despite being sick.” No, I haven’t accomplished a lot “for being a sick girl.” I’ve accomplished a lot, period.

In fact, despite living with multiple chronic and sometimes disabling illnesses, I’ve accomplished more than some of my healthy peers. I do more and take on more and work harder and sometimes even exercise more than some people who have no health issues to worry about. I have more ambition in my arthritic little pinky than some people with less burdens will possess in their lifetime. It equally hurts my feelings when people say, “you’re soooo lucky your husband has stayed with you through all of your health issues.” Yes, I am lucky, but let me add to that statement. 1) He’s supposed to do that. Remember that whole, “in sickness and in health” thing? It’s part of the job description…  and 2.) He’s lucky too. While I’m on this rant, the whole “you look great, for all you’ve been through?” type compliment? Negatory. Also not good.

I have to wonder, sometimes, if people realize the way certain things sound. I would hope that these insults-wrapped-up-in-a-compliment are unintentional, that the message of “you’re not as good as we healthy ones” is not the message that they are trying to deliver.

Yes, I’ve been through a lot, but I’ve overcome a lot. Yes, I’m lucky to have a guy like him, but he’s equally lucky to have a gal like me. I can deal with ignorance to a point, but what I cannot deal with? Rudeness, or, even worse, people who are condescending or patronizing.


Not acceptable. Just because I live with illness doesn’t make me “less than.” In fact, I’d say that overcoming all that I have makes me “greater than.”

You know … for a girl.

2 thoughts on “Rant Time: Don’t “Quantify” the Sick Girl

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