Most of the time, those of us who live with chronic pain befriend and are related to individuals who try to understand why we feel what we do, but not always. There seems to be an unwritten rule that we run into insensitive nitwits when we do not feel like dealing with them. Do we become magnetic when we’re having a down day or a rough time? “Come one, come all, jump into my business and feel free to ask me hyper personal questions about my health, my body and my private life.” Quite often, unfortunately, relationships suffer from this degree of insensitivity exhibited by others, and we reach a point of exhaustion, frustration and yes, anger. Isn’t life difficult enough? I would like you to put tongue-in-cheek and join me as we explore the possibilities of smart-ass answers to dull, insensitive questions. If you find the term nitwits offensive or politically incorrect, we could call these individuals empathy deficient. Is that better? Let’s look at a few of the phrases they say to us.
WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS GOING TO THE DOCTOR?
You should see my doctor…what a hunk. He looks just like Tom Selleck and Matt Damon rolled into one luscious man. That’s why I go as often as possible. And girl, don’t even ask me about those days the stirrups are pulled out on the exam table!
I love the soft, comfortable couches in the waiting room and the unequivocal exposure you can get to every current virus. It’s kind of a Russian roulette for the chronically ill.
If you whine and carryon a bit, you can get a cherry sucker and if you throw a hissy-fit, you can even get a balloon…on a string. I’m waiting for Medicare to pay for helium balloons.
Oh, I don’t know. I’ve come to think of it as my home away from home where they always weigh you and ask you your age; does it get any better than that?
Only a trip to the laboratory can make it better, all those needles and those tiny little cups, oh my, the thrill of it all.
WHY ARE YOU LIMPING?
Oh, you should try it. If you walk slowly enough and carry a cup, people will throw change into it.
I’ve got rhythm.
I’m keeping my knees dry.
I have a steroid suppository “in”; you should try it.
I get more wear out of my shoes.
My underwear is too large and/or tight and I’m too cheap to buy new ones.
I have this nervous habit of chewing on my toenails.
WHY DON’T YOU WORK ANYMORE?
Oh, as an RN, I got written up for lying down next to my patients.
It was against the health code for me to crawl up the hall while making rounds.
Once too often, while on duty in the Emergency Room, I found myself saying, “So? You think you’re sick!”
I figured out I was taking more of my own medications than I was giving to most of my patients.
I couldn’t get out of the car when I got home after an eight hour shift.
BUT YOU DON’T LOOK SICK!
I know, it’s all inside trying to get out, better stand back a bit. This could get ugly.
I don’t think it’s contagious but we could find out; how about a hug?
Oh, I know, it’s the result of fifteen plastic surgeries and an hour in make-up every morning; what a blessing.
I’m bionic, but keep it to yourself; the truth is I’m from another planet. Shhh…
Maybe if you could give me a description of what sick looks like to you, I could give it a try.
MAYBE YOU THINK ABOUT IT TOO MUCH. JUST DON’T THINK ABOUT IT.
I tried not thinking about it until the accident. It involved a very sharp ax therefore my lawyer says I can’t talk about it.
I do believe in positive thinking but the first premise is staying away from negative people; as a result, I’m going miss you.
I tried going to a Swami, then a hypnotist and Dr. Phil; but had to give up when it came to the witch doctor. All those feathers, you know I’m allergic.
Okay dear fellow chronic pain sufferers, go forth and know you are fully armed with answers for most questions directed to you by nitwits, numbskulls and morons. Some of them are relatives unfortunately, some “used to be” friends and some are medical personnel. I hope you avoid all three. These probably could fit onto a couple of 3X5 cards for your pocket or purse. You could also consider having them tattooed on some part of your body but that just means more needles and who knows, you may have a few of your own comeback remarks to add to this list. Good luck and go for it.