How do you cope with frustrating conversations?

So come on…share your frustrating conversations.
For example; Today a collegue asked “Hello how are you?” I answered with my usual reply when I’m feeling ok …not good you understand, but not bad, but sort of ok “yeah I’m ok thanks how are you?” A normal conversation ensued

A couple of hours later my boss said “Err, Louise can you come in the office please” In I went, he closed the door and asked me if I state I’m ok to people does that mean I can resume my normal full time hours, work 2 days running (I do 3 alternative days of 12 hour shifts a week) and work mondays (don’t do mondays as I’m still wooly minded after weekend MTX dose)

So does this mean I have to give everyone a blow by blow account of what is hurting and how I can or can’t manage day by day?
Do I time how long it takes me to get out of bed and down the stairs in the morning and how I sometimes pee in a pot cos I may not make it to the toilet otherwise at night so I can let everyone know how I’m doing?

Is it just me or is anyone else aware that when most people ask you how you are it is a general greeting, people tend to glaze over if you gave them a graffic account of how you really are and I can’t be bothered to answer anything other than “I’m good thanks” (pretty rare I know!) “I’m ok thanks”(usual status) or “I’m not too good today” (see them fidget just in case you decide to tell them how bad you are!)
So to let it out and have people know where you’re coming from is so refreshing…thank you people for sharing your pain, frustration, your moods, your hopes. I love this site :slight_smile:

Louise, I feel your pain (so to speak). For years I have said "good and you?" to answer this question. Well when I gave up my job this year my office manager said, "oh I didn't realize you have been so sick that you feel you must stop working". She said "you never complain"...SO did she really want me to complain on a daily basis, like you said with the play by play of all the issues I deal with...NO I am sure not and besides you are right, they glaze over and don't hear what you say anyway. Kind of reminds me of some doctors I have seen too... Even my mother has no clue as to what I deal with and how I feel daily. She is one of those that says "my friend has arthritis too" :( I remind myself that she is 88 (can work circles around me) and that she doesn't want to acknowledge that her baby daughter is "sick". That is the other one "You don't look like there is anything wrong with you" REALLY, have you not noticed that I am only 54 and walk like I am 100; can't sit still for more than 10 mins, not to mention standing and walking for more than 10 mins. You have not seen my hand on my back all the time...I don't do that for looks you know! Then there is the tremor in my right hand and arm that gets worse with fatigue and stress making it close to impossible for me to write; and don't even try to eat soup.

Hmmm you are right, this felt really good! Thanks Louise I love this site too :)

Next...

I hear what your saying! The 2 comments that have left me with my mouth hanging open were: My mother called and said, "I spoke with your sister and she says you are fine......" with a long pause to which I have to say to her, "yes Mom I had a good day. That does not mean I am now "cured". To which she responds "But you might be!" Would be funnierr if it didn't happen more than once. The other was after I went out on full disability after working 2 years at part time but was still struggling. I went in to see my work "buddies". One asked me how I was and I said "good" and saw her surprised look and said, "I have good days andbad days, it is not cured". As I walked down the hall and heard her say to a co-worker, "well I'd be fine to ifI could stay home!".

Sometimes Isee the humor, other times it is a stretch (pun intended!)

I totally get what you guys are saying - maybe I am paranoid, but once I started to have good days (I am lucky enough to have been fairly good for several months now) with some bad days mixed in, it seemed I started getting a feeling from some co-workers that I am playing it up when I want to, or when I don't want to do something.


One other thing I reaaaally can't stand is when people want me to lift or do something physical that I know I can't do because I have to be so careful and I have to say, again, that I cannot do whatever it is. I get the feeling then too that they might think I am just being difficult. I have stopped apologizing for it though (although some may want me to) it's not my fault so I refuse to apologize.


I know that some of these pet peeves are because people forget I have trouble (and obviously some don't know what's wrong with me) but it's annoying. I guess this disease is just annoying - period!

K, I'm done venting now :) But it is so nice to know there are people that really understand!

thanks.

Lmao!! Yaw said it for me. No one wants to hear how bad i feel. So i save it for u guys.

a good way to respond at work could be I am feeling better but still not 100%. No one except another autoimmune person can really understand. You really have to live it. good luck at work and yes save it for us. Venting here can be such a relief :)

When they as me "How are you doing?" I usually say "I'm doing" - that is my standard reply so I find it vague enough to keep them at bay.

Well if you are a christian, you could always answer “perrfect” as in Deuteronomy 18:13,

Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.

Louise, haven't we all been there! My best take-control technique goes something like this:

How are you?

Oh, I've been better, but let's not go there, tell me about your grandchildren! (Or any other "bait" that you can think to throw at them.) Very important: it has to be one continuous sentence, or they will be polite and fidgety as they feel they have to respond to your not being well!

And what do you know ... almost everybody is quite happy talking about their trip / the big game / the latest office "news" / their kid instead of talking about me. (And that suits me just fine.) Occasionally, someone will return the conversation to me and how I am. Or (as happened to me the other day) they'll follow up later. When that happens, you know they really do care! And the rest of the folks get just enough information to know that things aren't all rosy in your garden.

Works for me.

Seenie, that's brilliant.

Seenie said:

Louise, haven't we all been there! My best take-control technique goes something like this:

How are you?

Oh, I've been better, but let's not go there, tell me about your grandchildren! (Or any other "bait" that you can think to throw at them.) Very important: it has to be one continuous sentence, or they will be polite and fidgety as they feel they have to respond to your not being well!

And what do you know ... almost everybody is quite happy talking about their trip / the big game / the latest office "news" / their kid instead of talking about me. (And that suits me just fine.) Occasionally, someone will return the conversation to me and how I am. Or (as happened to me the other day) they'll follow up later. When that happens, you know they really do care! And the rest of the folks get just enough information to know that things aren't all rosy in your garden.

Works for me.

I always say something along Seenie’s line. It’s the one long sentence that is important - “I’m not so good but have you seen the weather today?” * . People are quite easily distracted that way.

  • yes we do talk about the weather a lot in the uk. Constant source of fascination.

And for the annoying conversations like when your boss takes you into her office to up your workload since you’re all better haha: "oh, I get so embarrassed talking about my disability around the office, it’s just so boring to hear people talk about their health. But since I know you care, my disability is actually getting worse. My doctor might give me this awful new drug… " Blah blah blah until their eyes glaze over

Thank you all for your insights into frustration conversations…I must admit my answer to my boss left him with his jaw hanging open, don’t think he’ll make any of those suggestions again! Considering we work in a unit helping those living with at least 1 chronic condition I think I may have taught him something! Well here’s hoping anyway! :). And if you what to share more; just keep 'em coming x

“how are you?” is the question i hate the most!!! apart from knowing that most of the time the person does not really care or want to hear it i dont like answering truthfully to my family because i know itll only make them worry. or equally bad, feel sorry for me.

im eternally happy and thankful that everyone here understands what it is like.

Venting- We were recently at dinner with my 3 brother-in-laws and their wives. During the conversation around the table one of my SIL asks (quite sarcastically) "So how has your health been?" (We live 1000 miles apart) I just said ok and dropped the subject to another one. I hate the condecending; sarcastic attitude of some people who know you have issues but instead of not asking at all they have to throw the barbs in with their tone and ask anyway. She could care less how I am , so why bother!

Thanks, that makes me feel much better as I couldn't vent this to my hubby since they are his family. :)

Alma I know what you mean, I find also there seems to be an implied suggestion that we are feeble creatures who make mountains out of molehills, but considering the majority of us would rather not talk about their health as a general topic of conversation its a bit rich to say the least! For years I’ve tried to give the benefit of the doubt to people who appear to be asking out of concern but by tone or attitude seem to be scoring points, I now refuse to play the game ( easier for me as I lost my in laws when I left my marriage) Feel free to vent … It does you good! :slight_smile:

Ridiculously enough this is the one thing I struggle with constantly. To tell or not tell - for one I am terrible at lying so when I say “I’m good” - I just can not pull it off. My son keeps getting after me to learn to lie so that it is less obvious. The worst moment for me was a bad day at the check out line - huge grocery stores kill me and I usually leave in tears of agony. She asked how I was and try as I could to bite it - the horrible comment of the year rolled off my tongue: “Honestly I would feel better if someone just shot me in the head!”. Her angry look is forever burned into my brain and the teasing from my son lasted for a good year. (’.’)

I was told the other day, by another person who lives with a chronic disease, that he got so fed up by the wife of a friend of his who would corner him and say " how are you, really?" And then would promptly tell him about her “womens problems” that her turned the tables on her and cornered her at a party and made her sit through his whole of his medical history…he said she never did it again! Wonder why? :slight_smile:

Digging up an old thread here. Heard another good one come out of my mouth today. And it worked a treat!

Friend: Seenie! How are you?
Me: Well, (with a big smile and a ta-da gesture) how do I look?
Friend: You look fantastic!
Me: (laughing) Well, doesn’t that go to show how misleading appearances can be!!! (We both laughed.) Ugh, my joints are awful, but tell me about the landscaping they’re doing at your place …

Doesn’t really matter how you look. If they are going to be brutally honest and say “You look like a bag of dirt”, then you say “And I feel like one too, but let’s not go there, tell me about your …”.
You get your message across, without moaning and groaning, and you maintain control of the conversation.
I knew you’d like this one, Andrew!

Well done Seenie, that’s a good one. I’ll have to remember that :slight_smile: