I complain a lot about fatigue and pain and aching joints, and I joke about “being sick and tired of being sick and tired”.
But that’s not really sick.
I use the word sick to explain to others, so they have some common ground to understand what it’s like. And because, for whatever reason, in most people’s minds, disease = contagious.
This makes it hard, however, when I have a secondary illness or virus. Then I’m really “sick”, but the response is “even more than usual?” If I’m “sick” now, was I not really “sick” before?
I wonder if avoiding use of the word “disease” is doing more harm than good.