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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » General Support » what do you say when people ask how you are doing?

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Author Topic: what do you say when people ask how you are doing?
mtree
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ok......

what do you say to people that ask how you are doing??

just wondering..........

do you flat out tell them......horrible.....
do you just say ....ok........

when they say ......i wish i could do something for you........what do you say??

i get so angry from people........family and friends that just don't help........

and know that they can.....financialy and physicaly......

when people as k my husband how i'm doing...
i hate it when he says......

....ok......she's hanging in there......

i want him to tell people how sick i really am......

people really do not know how sick you can be with Lyme.....

how devisating and dibilitating it is to a family.....

i told my family anf friends i was filing for disability.......

they said.....oh thats good......hope you get it....

but they made me feel like i'm giving up...or into it........

lazy....

i'm not looking for people to feel sorry for us....

but i'm never happy with our replies to .....
how i am doing.....

i'm so mad.. [Mad] .and sad [Frown] at the same time.....

so what do you say........??

love to hear some replies......
thanks,
[Smile] mtree

--------------------
worrying about tomorrow takes its strength away from today

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CaliforniaLyme
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95% of the time when iw as bad I would tell the truth but if for some reason I didn't feel safe or open or want to share I would simply say, "I AM!" or I'm DOING!" in answer to
"How are you doinG?" It was a way of deflecting while admitting I was deflecting so it still felt respectful!!!!!!!!

--------------------
There is no wealth but life.
-John Ruskin

All truth goes through 3 stages: first it is ridiculed: then it is violently opposed: finally it is accepted as self evident. - Schopenhauer

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treepatrol
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Holdin my own-Lyme sucks-Iam here.

--------------------
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Remember Iam not a Doctor Just someone struggling like you with Tick Borne Diseases.

Newbie Links

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map1131
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okay. If they really want to know, they will ask me more questions. I will then tell them some of what is really going on.

Pam

--------------------
"Never, never, never, never, never give up" Winston Churchill

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cheezhead
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I usually tell them, I have good days and bad ones. but more bad than good.

It's hard to express to someone how awfull you feel inside, when you look normal outside.

Unfortunatly most people are of the belief Lyme disease is an easly treatable condition, so they expect you to be fine in a short period of time.

Until the medical community is properly educated about the true affects of lyme, and associated diseases, the general public will continue to be in the dark.

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disturbedme
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Just random people or friends, I'll say "okay" usually never good, because I am not good, I'm only okay.

If family ask, I'll always tell them the truth, that I'm "dizzy, or feeling bad, etc..."

Sometimes I think "How are you doing?" is just a conversation starter more than it is a real genuine care of how the other person is. Most people don't want to hear or don't expect to hear a negative answer in reply to it.

I like CaliforniaLyme's answer of "I'm doing!" or "I am!" That's a good one. I may have to start using that instead of just saying "okay" all the time.

--------------------
One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.
~ Helen Keller

My Lyme Story

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jennyflyer
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There are only a couple people who I will tell how bad I am feeling. They are the only ones who really want to hear about it.

Everyone else, I say I have good and bad days or I'm hanging in there.

--------------------
Jennifer

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bettyg
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if anyone says, "how can I help you"?

they just OPENED DOOR OF OPPORTUNITY!!! ask them to:

clean your home...dust/vacuum/bathroom

get groceries,

help with your paperwork mess,

set up a week's worth of meds you take into the special pill containers

take you to drs. appts.

bring over a complete meal once every 2 weeks or so


That was one of Mom's final lessons to me before she died 7-22-90 from colon/liver cancer.

If anyone volunteers to help you, NEVER TURN THEM DOWN even if you can do it yourself. It makes them FEEL GOOD, and you benefit too!


It people ask how I'm doing, I tell them the truth of what I'm coping with.


my 36 yr. old niece sent me a letter after xmas complaining about my 2 page xmas letter I send out by email that it was "too much for average person to read about ... all my illnesses, etc. We want to hear about the HAPPY THINGS IN LIFE FOR YOU/UNCLE! They are in there, not many!


also, why can't I get along 2 hrs. of extra LIGHTS, PERFUMED CANDELS, AND A SOFT CHAIR, ETC. "just to be with family once a year"!! [cussing]

Well, she got a well-informed 3 page letter back. My final thought to her there was an Iowa lyme support group in her city, and suggested she go to at least 2 of their meetings of people I don't know at all. Listen to THEIR STORIES! Well, it's been 1 month; no return reply!! [Frown]

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CaliforniaLyme
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YOU GO BETTY G!!!
Sorry you have such a selfish niece!!

--------------------
There is no wealth but life.
-John Ruskin

All truth goes through 3 stages: first it is ridiculed: then it is violently opposed: finally it is accepted as self evident. - Schopenhauer

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AliG
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My DH would always tell people who asked him how I was doing that I was "fine" (even his mother!)

I just recently told him off for this because I feel that it makes me look like a jerk. It would look like I'm telling people that know me that I'm NOT fine when I really am.

IMO that would make it look like I'm making stuff up to tell them or something, that my own stupid, ignorant, thoughtless, uncaring, insensitive DH thinks I'm FINE! [rant] [shake]

I have recently started telling those who ask that I'm "still fighting with it". If they want to know more specifics, they can ask. Then I might add that I'm waiting for more lab results or something like that.

I'm really getting tired of talking about it because it can be SO depressing to think of how difficult things can be, OVER & OVER again.

[Roll Eyes] [Frown]

--------------------
Note: I'm NOT a medical professional. The information I share is from my own personal research and experience. Please do not construe anything I share as medical advice, which should only be obtained from a licensed medical practitioner.

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tdtid
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This has always been a tough one for me. I keep hearing about how I am looking so good, but you only wish you felt as good as people are telling you that you look.

Even more confusing to them is that one day you can be up and doing things and the next, you can hardly move out of bed and then they really think you are milking it or something.

I haven't found an answer for this question and most people don't really want to hear the details anyway, so yes, CaliforniaLyme's responses may be the best. "I am".

Cathy

--------------------
"To Dream The Impossible Dream" Man of La Mancha

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catskillmamala
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I don't know how to answer my family. My grandmother, my mother, my husband, my kids. They ask, how are you feeling, but they only want one answer: better.

Problem is, I don't feel better so I feel like I shouldn't answer them. I don't want to lie but I don't want to let them down.

DH and I had an argument last night. He thinks I'm obsessed and I shouldn't "focus" on IT so much. It being how I feel. He says there's no other conversation, blah, blah, blah. NOT TRUE!

But there is a huge part of my reality dealing with a relapse. I just spent the last week in pain, fatigued, going to doctors, getting blood drawn, starting meds, etc.

I am still exercising every morning, taking care of my kids and grandmother, cooking dinner every night, trying to keep up on client matters (very few hours, etc.)

I really resented that conversation. I am trying to be engaging asking what's going on at work, politics, the markets, etc. But now I feel like I can't even talk about my world--which is how I feel and how can I get better.

And he thinks I'm not doing anything to get better. Oh- just taking massive drugs and supplements, not eating sugar, not smoking, not drinking, trying to exercise, not eating white flour, trying to rest. Sure--doing nothing.

I have a really good cry in me, but no one to let it out with, not even him and that really scares me. I'm nervous that this relationship is a fairweather one only and that is not good for the long-term. If I get sicker--I feel like he'll be gone, which makes me wonder if he should be gone now.

And, given his pscyhology background, I feel like he's always doubting my symptoms as self-created. I've never been someone who takes to my bed if I'm depressed--I go out and do something. I'm laying on the couch because there is a lead blanket on me and I feel like I CAN'T get up--not because I'm lazy or I don't want to.

UUUUUGGGGHHH.

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mtree
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thank you all for your replies.....


they all sound too familiar....but glad i'm not the only one with this struggle.

the looking good..... [Roll Eyes]

doing something one day and not being able to do anything the next.... [Roll Eyes]

wanting to say your feeling better when you can't the disappointment from everyone....

catskillmamala-----

i'm in a relapse state too right now...
it is so so depressing.....

even if we do everything we are supposed to do......we still don't feel good........

i was surprised after years of remission (symptom free not cured)....

to relapse so badly....

i'm sorry for anyone struggling with their spouses...

my husband and i went to therapy years ago........
it really really helped....

also when things were/are bad......i have him come to my doctor appointments....

this way he can hear it straight from them.....

and can ask questions.....

bettyg....

can you call or write my family and friends with your list of what they can do for me..your list was great....just kidding.... [lol]

if anyone wants to know.....i feel horrible!!!

thanks for replying.....
[Smile] mtree

--------------------
worrying about tomorrow takes its strength away from today

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backintherain
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what a question!

it's been a huge relief to take the last 7 weeks off work so i don't have to answer that every day.

or "well, you MUST be doing better by NOW."

because then i feel guilty for having to break it to them that i'm NOT better. like it's my fault.

but i also don't want to be a big downer: the gloomy person who always feels bad.

**so i usually just shrug with a wry smile. i'm ambiguous.**

i'm going to return to work and my house with my roommates tomorrow and i just sent them an email warning them that i cry a lot lately. i don't really know if that was the best approach either.

--------------------
09/29/07: bitten
since
05/01: omnicef+biaxin+plaquenil 350
cats claw + knotwood thruout.

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AZURE WISH
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I always say "o.k'

I'm still alive so despite my long lists of cants and all the symptoms I have to deal with every hour every day... i am alive - so i am ok.

The people all around me that know me know I am a big fat lair. At 5'5 and 105 lbs, I have very visible tremors in my hands always, almost always limping, huffing and puffing with shortness of breath, need to lean against stuff due to weakness blah blah..

Right now its kinda obvious how I am doing.

--------------------
multiple chemical sensitvity group:
http://www.lymefriends.com/group/multiplechemicalsensitivities

Group for artists. All media welcome:
http://www.lymefriends.com/group/creativecorner


http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Lyme_Artist

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cantgiveupyet
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I always answer with 'im hanging in' i never go into details anymore.

--------------------
"Say it straight simple and with a smile."

"Thus the task is, not so much to see what no one has seen yet,
But to think what nobody has thought yet, About what everybody sees."

-Schopenhauer

pos babs, bart, igenex WB igm/igg

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bettyg
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mtree, so glad you liked my list of duties THEY can do to help you. Be my guest; email them it, and said I was asking all lyme patients to send this list to family/friends who CARE about you!


backinrain, YES, glad you called roomies indicating the crying is uncontrollable now. Gives them an idea of WHAT TO EXPECT and to discuss among themselves before you get back there. Again, the more they know and are WILLING TO ACCEPT; the better it is for you. best wishes to you and all others! [group hug] [kiss]

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merrygirl
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I usually say ok, or same old same old
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Curiouser
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I like CaliforniaLyme's response. Will have to start using that.

These days, when anyone asks, I just say "ok". Even to close family members.

I understand at this point that they really don't want to hear the truth.

Until finding the lyme earlier this month, my mother thought I was a hypochondriac and asked more than once if I wasn't imagining my symptoms.

Like Catskillmamala, my DH also thinks I'm obsessing about all this health stuff.

Admittedly, I have been.

However, by doing research and talking to other people on message boards, I've finally found answers.

Its certainly more than my drs (ducks) had come up with.

If it weren't for the internet, I'd probably be sitting here with half a thyroid and still wondering why I felt so cruddy.

At least now I know.

--------------------
If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there. - Lewis Carroll

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mtree
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ok.....

so far i got.........

ok
i am
i'm doing
holdin my own
lyme sucks
i'm here
good days and bad days
hanging in there
fine
same old same old


my brother asked me how i was doing around christmas time

i told him............."absolutly horrible". [dizzy]
...
i think he was shocked at my reply......

just didn't feel like saying "ok.....how are you"....

he did not know what to say....
haven't talked to him since.....

i think he was mad at my reply.....

oh well....


thanks for all your replies......

it really helps to know others who are going through the same things.....

i hope you all have an easy symptom free day.. [Big Grin] ..
always in my thoughts....

[Smile] mtree

--------------------
worrying about tomorrow takes its strength away from today

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lou4656
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My reply to your question is a bit different, but it works for me.

At some point, when I was really feeling horrible, I decided that I was going to push the lyme symptoms into the very back of my brain and "pretend" that it wasn't there. It was the hardest thing that I have ever done. But I just couldn't continue to live my life feeling so broken.

I went back to work and just struggled with feeling so terrible, however it also made me feel productive to be doing something (although there were many errors in my work).

Whenever someone asked how I was doing, I would answer, (with an ear to ear smile) "FABULOUS!! Couldn't be better." Just saying that made me feel better.

The people that really know me could tell that I was anything but fabulous, but it allowed me to move on without having to answer alot of questions. Fabulous = end of conversation regarding my health.

I don't want to be known as "the lady with lyme." I just want to be me. And I am working on that.

--------------------
LouLou

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tdtid
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Lou,

I love your attitude and spunk. Even more than you have found a way to put a positive spin on this.

I spend more days in bed than I do out, so saying something like that over the phone would have them wondering why I am not up and wanting to go do all these fun things with them.

But I do understand what you are saying since before I got too bad, I found that if you THINK and keep telling people you are doing well, oddly, you start to believe it yourself. I do have my "masquarade" going with some people that I'm doing well as they tell me how much better I look, but it's hard to hold up the front for more than a couple of hours.

Defiitely thought provolking though, so thank you for sharing.

Cathy

--------------------
"To Dream The Impossible Dream" Man of La Mancha

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kam
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It depends on who is asking.

Most of the time, I say I am doing good.

Sometimes I miss read people but hoping I will not do that again.

Had a lady ask me how I was doing and I told her I am having a set back.

Then I got to hear about how she doesn't talk about her issues and everyone has health issues as she talked about her health problems.

It seems the sore shoulders are her health problems.

I later thought I could have responded better. AS I recall having sore shoulders for years before I got to bad to function normally.

Some people have a gift of understanding and being supportive, but I have found most do not have a clue what this is like.

AFter listening to this lady, I had to do the sideways walk to get back to my car.

I told her it was because I had used up my brain by our talk. It happens a lot. At least I am able to listen now. I just haven't figured out time wise when to cut it off so I will be able to walk out of the dog park.

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Bosco8a
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I usually say I'm hanging in there...

I have found the majority of people truly don't want to know how I am doing, they are just making polite conversation.

I know who my true friends are and confide when I have too.

My wife and I were just discussing tonight that ten years ago I would not have known where to get the information that is so ready available on this forum.

It is truly a God send!!

Keep the faith!

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Geneal
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I usually respond with one of the three:

I am hanging in there.

I am doing okay.

I am feeling a little better.

Unless you have Lyme, I don't think you can understand

The daily struggle just to be.

Hang in there.

Hugs,

Geneal

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Peck
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I respond differently depending on who's asking.
I wish I could say my family is supportive. with the exception of my sister and her husband the rest are useless.
My mother, nurse for 40 years just doesn't get it. I've given her all sorts of materials to get her up to speed and she just doesn't get it. I avoid her because when I have needed her, ie: last week I had ridiculous head and neck pain. She talked louder and told me to go for a walk. I couldn't lift my head off the pillow, let alone open my eyes. Not to mention I needed a root canal in the middle of it.

I find that when I am avoiding people because I'm feeling so horrible I call my funniest friends and they always pick me up.

One day I must have looked really bad because I had so many people ask me how I was doing.
I'd force a smile and just say "terrific".
The happier the response the less people have to say. It's kind of funny to watch the reactions.

--------------------
simplify....

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hshbmom
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I ask, "Do you want the truth or the sugar-coated version/Emily Post response?"
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TheCrimeOfLyme
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My answers to questions:

1.) How are you doing?
as good as it gets.

2.)How do you feel?
as well as I get

3.) I wish I could do something for you.
Want my honest answer to that?
"Wish in one hand and chit in the other and see which one fills up faster"

After a while, they stop asking. [Wink]

--------------------
You want your life back? Take it.

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mtree
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Crime.....

those were good too......
especially the last...


I also so........

could be worse ......could be alot better.....

Bosco.....

I agree......10 years ago.........there was nothing like this.....

its so helpful........

so grateful........

thanks to all.....
anymore??
[Smile] mtree

--------------------
worrying about tomorrow takes its strength away from today

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Peacesoul
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great thread

My reply to this question is always "Like this and like that"

I get sick of hearing myself talk about how sick I feel.
When people ask me what they can do for me, I reply "Nothing, just keep an opened mind"

My Dad always gives me cr*p b/c when I call my parents house and he asks how I am, I start to bellyache.
So he took me aside and said "Even when you're feeling awful, say you feel fine"
I wanted to tzae him, but he was right, the more I bellyache, the more it hurts.

I have a neighbor who is ill. Her hubby died of cancer last year and she's disabled. She is about 90% housebound.
She calls me all the time and moans and groans and complains. It makes me nuts and I avoid her like the plague now. I cook for her, take her out to get food, do her housework, take out her garbage etc, but enough is enough.

At some point we need to focus and smile even when it hurts like h*ll.
No one likes a downer, even when we feel at our worst. Just the way it is!

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Monica922
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My 8 year old has Lyme so in order to not make her scared I have to be strong. Honestly, many days I start crying right when she gets on the bus for school or when my kids go to bed.

I get overwhelmed with trying to make pretend I am okay or not in pain. It is hard but I am getting better...REALLY SLOWLY [Smile]

I hate when people ask me how I am doing. Most cannot believe that I have been on IV for 11 weeks and I am not better yet. This includes my Mom and Dad. I have been avoiding people because I hate that question..LOL.
I just say....yes I am still alive [Smile]

By the way, GO GIANTS [Smile]

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Meg
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I say "Doing what I have to"
or "Just treading water"

Either one means the same as keeping on with keeping on. [Smile]

--------------------
Success Stories---Treatment Guidelines

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Just Julie
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Here's one that just hit me, and hasn't been said before:

"as well as can be expected"

That leaves it open-ended in a way. Either people can say "oh, well I hope you're going to be okay", or they can change the subject altogether, without anyone losing face.

I know I'd hate to ALWAYS hear the down side of how *I* feel, i'd depress the h*ll out of me!

And, some years ago, when my first son was a baby, I did listen to another mom list out her grievances (not physical, always griping about her in-laws, or her husband never around, or how hard she's got it, etc.) and I grew to dread talking to her, her calling me on the phone, going anywhere with her, or being with her in general.

When I had the chance, I disconnected with her, she moved away. Then, she moved back! I thought we would not become close again, but she sought me out. I think people who know they've got a sounding board, or a silent enabler, tend to seek that person/people out, and just go at it.

That is why I do not list out one, or any, of my "woes". If people ask a superficial question like "how are you doing" and believe me, that is a perfectly good example of superficial, then you can either give them a smooth, shallow response, or change the subject. Most people will never know the difference, and if someone does persist in finding out "how you are" then you can give them ONE thing that is wrong, and then see where the conversation goes.

Most often, it goes in the toilet.

Sheesh I don't sound depressing, do I ?
[Roll Eyes]

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Julie

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adamm
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Don't ask, don' tell
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Robin123
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Sometimes I just simply say I'm dealing with Lyme disease and it's a challenge. If they're interested, they'll discuss further; if not, we don't.

Since most people here in California don't know about it anyway, it can be an opportunity to educate them, since they and everyone are now at risk, even tho they don't realize it.

That's why I don't mind mentioning it, 'cause then one more person gets to learn about it. Just a PSA...

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tdtid
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As mentioned earlier, I think what really is hard is when people have no clue about this illness and can't understand why we aren't better YET.

I've been on antibiotics coming up on 15 months and when you start hearing about how their ear infection went away with only 10 days, so why is this taking ME so long....

it just gets hard to answer these types of people since no matter what you say, it goes in one ear and out the other. I try to tune them out, but my outer skin hasn't gotten strong enough for all of them.

Any replies that are quick and to the point, about why it takes so long that would actually shut them up?????? Don't get me wrong....most people aren't like this, but still stumble on them now and then.

Cathy

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"To Dream The Impossible Dream" Man of La Mancha

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sweet pea
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One thing I can't stand is when people ask me when I'm going to get better. I know they don't know any better, but it still bothers me.
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Robin123
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sweet pea, you could try giving them a date, like June 11, 2014 or something...
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lemonhead
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I am sorry, but somedays I would just like to tell my family that I feel like crap and would they like to help cleam my house. Even my husband.

As I am trying to move the couch around to vacumn under it, he just sits there. Am I using this as a venting board, yes, I am sorry, but darn it, why is it when you feel bad are people less likely to come over and help?

I dont understand.

I wonder if you dont wash your hair which actually some dont because it is too tiring, or your too depressed to get yourself up and wash yourself off (literally) and just want to go to bed and pull the covers over you.

If you looked your worst, would they help?
Maybe that could be a test.

Next time I might try it on my sisters who live 10 minutes away. They dont talk to me unless they need something and if i feel bad and dont do as they ask, they get upset.

My mother, who is a nurse, believes that you should always look your best and your house should look its best. Well, if you dont feel like cleaning your house, or brushing your hair cause you are too pooped it doesnt get done.

I gave my family the Dr. B. information on Lyme disease, and none of them read it.

Out of sight, out of mind.

What was the topic? Oh yeah, what do you tell people when they ask "How are you doing?"

I am doing absolutely wonderful and thank you for asking.

Actually when i am asked and am feeling not so great, i say, not so great today.

Love to all, lemonhead

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mtree
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lemonhead......

i for one don't mind the venting.....keep it coming........

i am not surprised though of your families lack of interest in your illness.

my mom told me years ago that she didn't want to know anything...it all freaked her out.....

just didn't want to know......


robin i loved your responce to sweetpea......
tell them you'll be better in 2014..... [lol]

have a good day everyone......
thanks for all the posts!!!!!!!!!!!
[Smile] mtree

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worrying about tomorrow takes its strength away from today

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BugBarb
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Plain and simple and so ambiguous it drives home a message.

"Parts of my life are great."

"Parts of my life are doing much better"

To those who inquire about your health and you dont want to dump on them...

"Hey, you know, some of my symptoms are a lot better!/gone.

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Lyme is like the flu. You can get it and recover, but you can always get it again.

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jblral
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My teenage daughter is the one with Lyme. I constantly get asked about her--often from people I'd rather not go into details with.

I use the following response in many situations: "she's better in some ways, not in others." And then I change the subject.

Other times, I might say, "We still have our challenges," and then I change the subject.

Or, "Oh, she's okay." And then change the subject. (How 'bout them 49ers?)

The fact is, we're blessed to have a few very supportive friends, and I'll go into detail with them if I want to. But my family and I have discovered through experience that it works better for us to limit the amount of detail we give out to others.

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mtree
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I do use that one too jblral....

"....I ve got my challenges.....
.....but so dose everyone....."

than walk away thinking.......and are you fighting and incurable disease......

sometimes i have no patience for others problems..(normal people)...and have to detach......

again thanks for all the posts......

anyone else??
[Smile] mtree

--------------------
worrying about tomorrow takes its strength away from today

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cactus
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My partner came up with this one when I needed to sound positive (despite feeling like doo doo)...

"Better than we expected!" with a big smile.

If they ask for more details and sound sincere, then great.

If not, or if I don't feel comfy sharing my details with them, then I leave it at that & ask about the 49ers.

Added bonus: it's true. I'm doing much better than LLMD expected me to be doing at this point!

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Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again? - A.A. Milne

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LisaS
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I read this on another post and thought it was great, they say, "I'm glad I don't look how I feel inside!"

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https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1660435643

Posts: 1078 | From Lake Geneva WI | Registered: Nov 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mtree
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I was surprised......

my husband had said the other night at dinner that.....so and so asked how you were?

and I said what did you tell them.....
(Ive been really sick latley...really can't just say fine)

he said he told them......
"she's having a hard time........"

I thought that was a good one.....
respecting my feelings.....and leaving it open if anyone wanted to ask more......

[Smile] mtree

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worrying about tomorrow takes its strength away from today

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mtree
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up for Pammy in medical [Smile]

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worrying about tomorrow takes its strength away from today

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