Many people believe that death is their enemy, and that the job of a doctor is to fight death and “save” patients from that inevitable end. Perhaps that’s why diagnoses like cancers and heart disease can rally social networks to support an individual while other diagnoses like chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia (“invisible illnesses”) are often ignored. People routinely die of cancer and heart disease, not CFS.
Relationships are defined by the way two or more people are connected. For someone who is not well, her relationship with her doctor is not a casual, but an important connection. At every doctor-patient encounter, two experts are present. The doctor brings his expertise; the patient is the expert in her body.