Looking around for information on how sickness is viewed by our culture, I have to consider that we have a culture where we purchase medical care. How much does our need to have money to purchase medical care affect the way we see sick people?
Do we see those who are chronically ill as less able to afford health care?
Historically, anecdotes suggest that the rich who had various chronic “afflictions” were treated well. They had whatever they needed to make themselves comfortable. Servants aided them. They were coddled. There was no guilt attached to this. This was their due or their birth right.
The poor, however, often suffered on the streets. They may have died. Often they were beggars for they were unable to work. Those who had families no doubt suffered guilt for being unable to provide. Those who were part of a family may have felt that their duty was to leave and remove the burden from their family for their care.
Culturally we seem to have favored the worker need to keep going. We have the guilt over not being able to work. Few people seem to think it is their birth right to sit around and be waited on.
What if that is what illness is giving us? Maybe it is showing us just how hard we keep working. Maybe we need to take a moment and revel in our inability to work or to slave away.