I had a dental cleaning today and met the new hygienist. He asked if I'd taken the afternoon off work, and after I explained my work situation he started saying how hard that must be, he can't imagine, his complaints are minor in comparison. He was trying for empathy but he overshot. I don't like being pitied and I especially dislike feeling pitied while I'm trying to be productive.
This is my normal life. Those are the five most important words I can say about life with chronic illness. I know you can't imagine it. I can't imagine being healthy so I guess we're even!
Focusing on my illness to the exclusion of me as a person is insulting. If you really want to help, just have a normal conversation with me. Treating me like a regular person is a compliment, trust me.