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? Do we have a huge nitwit magnet that blinks? “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, let loose some of that sarcasm you have hidden and join me as we explore the possibilities of smart-ass answers to rude, 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 not?
“WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS GOING TO THE DOCTOR?”
Why, because the alternative is worse; other than listening to you.
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.
Don’t tell my husband but I’m having an affair with one of them. I get a cheaper rate on office visits that way. It’s so tricky on those exam tables without falling off.
I haven’t had the flu in a while so I just go and sit in the doctor’s office and breathe deeply. 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 that’s actually a rubber glove that’s been blown up…on a string. I’m waiting for Medicare to pay for helium balloons. You just watch. One day they will, and colored ones, too.
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?
I also love those trips to the laboratory. All those needles and those tiny little cups, oh my, the thrill of it all. However, being a female, I do need to work on my aim with that cup. I hate walking out of there with a wet hand.
Well, you see, I have seven doctors and they have children I’m helping to put through college.
I think it’s the décor in the offices and all those rare,old FIELD AND STREAM magazines from the nineties.
“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 got rhythm.’
My knees last longer this way.
I get more wear out of my shoes.
The elastic is loose on my underwear.
I can’t reach my toenails to clip them any longer.
“WHY DON’T YOU WORK AS AN RN ANYMORE?”
Oh, 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, well, that’s nothing, just let me tell you about me.”
I realized I was taking more of my own medications from home 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, you’d better stand back a bit because I throw-up randomly. This could get ugly.
I don’t think it’s contagious but how about a hug?
Thank you, it’s the result of fifteen plastic surgeries.
I’m bionic but keep it to yourself.
Sorry, we’re talking about me and I meant to ask you about you. My dear, you have lost your glow. You can tell me, whatever is the matter?
Isn’t growing old a bitch? I thought you’d know because you’re older than I am.
“MAYBE YOU THINK ABOUT IT TOO MUCH. JUST DON’T THINK ABOUT IT AND TRY TO BE MORE POSITIVE.”
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 to miss you. Bye, Bye.
I tried going to a guru, then a hypnotist and Dr. Phil; but had to give up when it came to the witch doctor. All those feathers and chicken blood everywhere; you know I’m allergic.
Okay dear fellow chronic pain sufferers, go forth and know you are fully armed with answers for rude 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. I get shots on the rear so often, I know where my notes are going but I’d have to use a mirror to read them. Guess that won’t work. I’ll think about that plan. Good luck and go for it.