While I’m struggling to detangle her long, thick hair this morning, my small daughter reminds me that all definitions of illness are subjective.
What seems a tolerable level of discomfort to one could cause another to hit the ibuprofen. A stomach pain that tempts a hypochondriac to stalk his GP might be neglected for years by someone with an aversion to white coats, regardless of the potentially serious consequences.
We all have our strengths and weaknesses, particular to our unique biochemical make-up. We each have our own definition of acceptable and unacceptable suffering. Therefore who am I to disagree with my daughter’s earnest and considered plea this morning, as she wriggles and jiggles beneath my determined hairbrushing?
“Mummy, I really think you ought to make a doctor’s appointment about the muscles in your hands, to find out why your finger keeps going in my eye.”