Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Please Don't Ask Me 'How are You?'


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When you're living with a chronic illness and all the accompanying unknowns you start to dread simple questions other people take for granted like "How are you?"

I know it's just a social courtesy and that most people don't even really care how you respond, but when you're chronically ill it's hard to know how to answer. I want to say I'm good if I'm in a good mood, but somehow that seems disingenuous when I'm dealing with health problems and pain. It feels like a complete oversimplification of what's going on with me.

I've settled on answering that I'm okay. This way I am communicating that I'm not in active distress, but that I could be better. I'm almost never feeling good and to be perfectly honest I don't feel like faking it anymore.

How do you handle it when someone asks how you're doing? Does it bother you to gloss over your challenges and answer that you're doing well?

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