Will someone please explain to me how a person’s literal death is evidence that they weren’t actually sick at the time they died or ever? The “I Told You I Was Sick” tombstone may (or may not idk) have been around as long as tombstones themselves have been around and it is even cataloged in a collection of “curious epitaphs” as the epitaph of an ancient hypochondriac.
The epitaph. Of a hypochondriac. Hmm. While I process that very concept a moment, I Google “hypochondria” and find that the word doesn’t mean exactly what I thought it meant. Or rather, the origin of the word itself was nothing like I had assumed. Apparently, the very concept of unverified/unverifiable illness causing patients extreme physical and mental distress originated from complaints involving the abdomen. Why doesn’t that surprise me at all. From Wiki:
Among the regions of the abdomen, the hypochondrium is the uppermost part. The word derives from the Greek term ὑποχόνδριος hypokhondrios, meaning “of the soft parts between the ribs and navel” from ὑπό hypo (“under”) and χόνδρος khondros, or cartilage (of the sternum).
Hypochondria in Late Latin meant “the abdomen”.
The term hypochondriasis for a state of disease without real cause reflected the ancient belief that the viscera of the hypochondria were the seat of melancholy and sources of the vapor that caused morbid feelings. Until the early 18th century, the term referred to a “physical disease caused by imbalances in the region that was below your rib cage”. Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621) blamed it “for everything from ‘too much spittle’ to ‘rumbling in the guts’.
Bolds mine. Apparently, people have been presenting to doctors for a long, long time complaining of upper abdominal pain,
too much spittle chronic nausea and/or drooling, and rumbling in the guts the dreaded intestinal gurgling that often foretells an impending Crohn’s flare and they had morbid feelings about that. You don’t say.
I should mention here that capsule endoscopy, which is currently the only way to get diagnostic imaging of the lining of the small bowel, is a very new technology that’s extremely expensive and often not covered by insurance. Before modern imaging technology, including capsule endoscopy technology, diseases of the upper part of the abdomen in particular were virtually undiagnosable. Due to its inaccessible location, in practice, even today, for many if not most people getting a reliable diagnostic image of the hypochondrium (!) or the upper part of the abdomen and gastrointestinal tract is impossible.