If you have a chronic condition you may have shared one of the many illness memes on social media that attempt to explain what it is like to live with constant pain.
The conversations that occur in blog comments or other platforms naturally take on an "us" vs. We who are ill consider ourselves part of a exclusive club -- one we never wished to join.
Regardless of your illness, it likely has many names.
Chronic, degenerative, disabling, terminal, auto-immune, neurological, benign... When we say we have a "chronic illness," we are specifying the this illness is likely going to stick around. As human beings, we want to be able to look at something (or someone) and be able to sum things up.
As the Internet has evolved from news groups to social media, much has changed.
But I have seen one continual thread: people are eager to share about their illness experiences and gain both understanding and wisdom from their peers.
So we use terms to describe our illness communities, such as "spoonies" (based on The Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino).