1. The sick lady has a very popular blog about being sick. The sick lady is young and attractive and she was struck—far too young—with a tragic disease. Is the sick lady going to die? What will happen to her perfect husband and perfect kids? We read the updates about doctor appointments and tests. We read about her acquired nonchalance about various medical indignities. It’s a perfect example of what I call the Veronica Mars narrative structure: There is an overall mystery to be solved over the course of the season (Is the sick lady going to die of her tragic disease?) but each episode tackles a smaller issue (family strife, a fight with the insurance company, balancing the demands of everyday life with the realities of being sick). Spoiler alert: The sick lady died.

  2. The sick lady has a very successful GoFundMe. I’m friends with the sick lady’s sister. A string of things went wrong, and then the sick lady finds herself facing a situation where her doctors recommended a very expensive treatment that the insurance company won’t touch. The sick lady has a lot of friends and relatives. They gather around her. They raise the money for the treatment. The sick lady may never be entirely better, but things are looking up. The story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It is likely that she will live happily every after (at least for a while). You can read the updates on GoFundMe. A lot of people do. Remember, the GoFundMe is very successful.

  3. The sick lady posts a lot on Facebook. A lot. She is too sick to work, too sick to do much except post on Facebook. She is part of a lot of closed and secret Facebook groups that are populated by other sick ladies. The sick lady asserts that she will fire any doctor who describes her condition in words that don’t match with an ICD-10 code. She rejects their clinical experience, their judgements about what is possible and what is unlikely. The sick lady complains that she never sees her friends anymore; she says it is their fault, but they think it is hers. She never gets much better or much worse. Nothing drives the narrative. It is a dark and inartful nod to postmodernism.

  4. The sick lady doesn’t want to be the sick lady. The sick lady wants to have stories that have nothing to do with sickness and disability.