"When will you be better?"

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Starburst
Starburst Member Posts: 2,546
edited 17. Mar 2014, 16:25 in Living with Arthritis archive
I tend to get variants of the above question every now and then. I'm never normally short of words but I never know what to say.

Do you ever get repeated questions to which there are no answers?

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  • brandy192
    brandy192 Member Posts: 73
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    My favourite one is because I am overweight with OA in both my knees is "why dont you just go for a brisk walk every day"? This question is usually asked by professionals who mean well but obviously have never experienced the pain, discomfort and the lack of self confidence to 'just go for a walk' that I feel.
  • dachshund
    dachshund Member Posts: 9,026
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hello Starburst
    I love walking but my legs feel worn out before I've started I have a mobility scoota take it to the shops walk around the shop and the scoota takes me home.
    joan xx
    take care
    joan xx
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    My answer is 'Never.' because it's the truth. It non-plusses people but so what? They cannot help their belief that all ills can be cured by doctors. I hope they never have to find out the grim reality that many of us face.

    Another thing I enjoy is answering the generic 'How are you today, madam?' enquiry that is the opening gambit to any salesman's pitch. I can't type my reply on here for fear of causing a mass outbreak of swooning. :wink: Again it wrong-foots because my reply is not in their prepared speech. :lol: DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • toady
    toady Member Posts: 2,285
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I find 'are you better'? (spoken or implied) the trickiest.. as in when you appear for a brief spell and people don't know if that means you're better & will be around for the next 5 minutes or disappear again. These appearances tend be rare enough that it's become almost pointless doing any form of popping up in society, as the assumption you're 'back' is too awkward for me. To be honest I've banned a few closer friends from asking 'how are you' and have felt hugely better for it, but it's not that fair on them, so you can't win really..

    DD I've occasionally answered No to people asking have you had a nice (xmas etc) and you'd think they'd never had a shock like it.. if there's only one possible answer, why ask the question. :roll:

    In some ways a permanent, static impairment would be easier because after a certain point no-one would ask you about betterness & improvements.. but then I can't think of one I would swap for, so that's a rather large hitch.
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,281
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Oh I have had them all, but have learned to smile and walk away then swear..quietly of course :o
    Love
    Barbara
  • Kittkat
    Kittkat Member Posts: 309
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    No I don't.But I get people forgetting I am ill and saying 'why don't you get a job in x place'. Not acknowledging I can't. I think people think I am lazy.
    How am I gonna be an optimist about this?
  • phoenixoxo
    phoenixoxo Member Posts: 625
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Sophie,

    I empathise :)

    I remember this question from before I became a powerchair user. My answer was, 'Well, I'm not going to get better, but with the right treatment I hope to have less pain at least.' I think people like to hear 'hope'.

    Now that I'm a powerchair user, impaired permanently (to use Toady's words), it's a bit different. My right-knee deformity is a visible disability. If people ask about it, I begin by explaining the circumstances of my injury. Often I don't have the opportunity to explain my arthritis, as people tend to focus on their own experience of poor treatment instead. It's easy to connect with them on that level, musing on political failings in place of personal ill health. That's okay with me. However, a few NHS workers prefer to deny the impact of my injury, often causing further harm, so that's... not so good. I'll avoid ranting here, but I may have updated my blog ;>)

    Best wishes,
    Phee
    PsA (psoriatic arthritis) and other things since 1990. Happy to help when I can :-)
  • toady
    toady Member Posts: 2,285
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I hope my talk of impairment didn't sound offensive, I see how it could on reading back - just trying to look at the various ways of being affected by illness that people have to cope with. Eg people don't ask me about my stiff neck more than once because it's not a fluctuating thing, likewise my drifted fingers, & so forth, but they do obviously want to ask 'how are you, are you better' and I don't really have an answer for that. I did say that I certainly wouldn't wish a different & permanent problem on myself, & of course I meant it. It can be no comfort to the deaf for example that they aren't asked are you better from your deafness. But it's a rather clumsy point so I hope people understand what I'm saying.

    You seem to do well in tackling your own responses - I'm very bad at explaining myself to people, especially when they are quite nosey in a way I wouldn't dream of being.
  • Boomer13
    Boomer13 Member Posts: 1,931
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    toady wrote:
    I'm very bad at explaining myself to people, especially when they are quite nosey in a way I wouldn't dream of being.

    I used to try explaining everything. Now I save my breath and answer completely off topic: "what do you think of this weather?" I think most people get the point that I don't want to talk about it.

    I resent what is often implied: that if you're not getting better, then you're not trying very hard, lazy, or you have a bad attitude. I used to care what people think. I don't anymore.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,731
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Sophie, I confess I sometimes say, mmischievously. "Oh I'm much better than I used to be before my THRs and TKRs"

    K8ds are the most direct. "Why are your fingers/feet/shoes all funny?" I just say I have a disease which mak3s them go like that and I'd much rather have lovely straight, strong ones like them.

    What I really hate is when people say "But I mustn't grumble about my knee/ hip etc when you have so much to put up with." Utter bilhooks. Everyone's pain is there own. I get far more sympathy now when, despite my replaced and fused joints, I look very arthritic. It hurt far more when I looked OK.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi
    The hardest thing is when you are Peer support volunteer and someone comes out after seeing the consultant or has seen him a few weeks ago, comes up to me and tells me about the diagnosis and then says how long will it take to get better? Or what's the best thing to take/to do/ to cure it.

    We all know the answer to that one but you cant just blurt out its not curable :o

    Stupid consultants that don't give them much information :x

    That's when I have to waffle about self management etc

    Love
    Hileena
  • bubbadog
    bubbadog Member Posts: 5,544
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    The usual one from people I've never met before is....' Aren't you to young to have Arthritis ? ' And my sister - in - law comes out with 'so how long are you going to need the sticks for?' Some questions that just pop out from people I know make me want to ring their necks sometimes! :x
  • phoenixoxo
    phoenixoxo Member Posts: 625
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    toady wrote:
    I hope my talk of impairment didn't sound offensive

    Nope, not at all, Toady :)

    Your words just set me to musing on communication challenges before powerchair use versus current palavers. I like to muse, so thanks! :lol:

    Best wishes,
    Phee
    PsA (psoriatic arthritis) and other things since 1990. Happy to help when I can :-)
  • toady
    toady Member Posts: 2,285
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    phoenixoxo wrote:
    Nope, not at all, Toady :)

    Oh good :)

    In my turn, I've been musing on the effect that the things people say can have on anyone with [us] at the time. I remembered when I was with a friend with PsA one day at a public local attraction; nice summer's day, they were in shorts, a woman came up & offered some ointment for what she assumed were insect bites on my friend's leg. Well-meaning, but all it did was (presumably) make my friend feel that their skin was really obvious & visible a mile off. Point being, I didn't know what to say & felt quite awkward, it was a good friend but we are not on discuss-our-innermost-thoughts terms, so I wasn't sure if they would prefer I glossed straight over it, or tutted & said nosey parker, or even 'that was nice of her'.. so my own afflictions certainly haven't given me a magic ability to say the right thing.. :roll:
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Having had rubbish skin for years I laud your friend for 'daring to bare' because they knew that sunlight would help matters. It would never occur to me that insect bites / eczema / psoriasis were interchangeable conditions but that is entirely due to my life-experience. I remember the glee that my classmates showed when we did leprosy in primary school history lessons - I can still hear the chants of 'Unclean! Unclean!' and the miming of ringing a bell. DD

    PS @ Timothy Dixon? I still love you because you were the only child who would dance with me in the Country Dancing lessons (this was back in the early 60s which many of you will not recall because you weren't born).
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben