It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Chronic Pain Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 08-11-2007, 08:29 PM   #1
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 30
LifeLost HB User
Unhappy When people ask "How are you?", what do you say?

I suffer from chronic pain and so I don't get out much to socialize. I know I've lost some of my socialization skills. All of my friends have moved on, and I've bben left behind. I relly would like to make new friends. I'm really not out there enough to have the chance.
Here is my question, when you first meet some one (romantically or not), should you mention your disability? Sometimes I tell people a little about my condition and the automatically flee. Other times I don't say mucha nd am accused of misleading. If you would like to have a relationship with some one, when do you start talking about your situation, and how much do you tell? I hav'nt really found a balance yet. What do I say?
Also when you first meet people or run into someone you hav'nt seen in awhile and they ask how you are, what do you say? I know sometimes when people ask how you are they don't really want to know, it's just the form the greeting takes. So do you just lie and say great? Say theres good days and bad, or that life's tuff? I run into my parents freinds, and just don't know what to say. And then when you 1st meet some one, they usually ask, so are you in school, do you have I job (the pain is too much for either), so I kinda have to mention somewhat about the pain. Or I'll have an actiq in my mouth and they'll ask what it is. Has anyone found a good way to deal with discussing their pain? I know I'm kinda rambling, but I can't be alone in this problem. I don't want to run off potential friends or boyfriends with my situation, but I can't leave them in the dark, they find out eventually anyways. HELP!!!

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 08-11-2007, 08:48 PM   #2
Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Southern Indiana
Posts: 57
ScoobyDoo HB User
Re: When people ask "How are you?", what do you say?

When I run into old friends and such and they ask how Ive been. I always lie and say Im fine. Your right, its really just a question, most dont care too much. They dont wanna hear about my problems. What would I say anyways "Oh, Im just not doing to well, got this whole back things going on". Then I would have to explain or they would ask questions, yadda yadda. I would just rather avoid that. I just say "I'm doing ok, what about yourself?". As far as you talking about getting back out there making friends or potential relationships, I think you need to come up with a short explaination of your situation. Like when they ask what you do for a living, you need to come up with a line, like "Well, Im not able to work right now, got some back problems going on." Or go into a little bit more detail but not too much. If the date progresses or you get closer to this person then yeah you can go into detail about everything. Like you said, coming right out with it might scare them away, or they might not know what to say. If its an old friend or something, I would lie and say Im doing ok. If its a boyfriend I would have that little phase that consists of a couple of sentences just briefly explaining why you arent working or going to school. If you two get closer, then you can talk more about it.

Ive come to find out that people sometimes just don't care what you have been through. If they dont have back problems, they cant understand anything. And I find it really hard to explain my situation to some people. I always try to briefly explain my problems but I dont make it out to be a big deal to them. Thanks just my opinion, sorry its so long. Hope it helps!!

 
Old 08-11-2007, 09:03 PM   #3
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 30
LifeLost HB User
Re: When people ask "How are you?", what do you say?

I usually say I have a pain problem that has put my life on hold for now. (I don't metnion that it has been on hold for 10 years). I then leave it to them rather they want to ask and know more, or leave.

 
Old 08-11-2007, 09:13 PM   #4
Veteran
(female)
 
babs17's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 492
babs17 HB Userbabs17 HB User
Re: When people ask "How are you?", what do you say?

I've taken all sorts of different roads answering this question, and what works best for me, them and any other party involved, is by flipping the conversation onto someone else...ANYONE ELSE...just NOT YOU. Later on, if someone REALLy cares, they will have picked up on your change in direction, .....then they will find you at a more respectable time, and ask you in private. It feels better to be asked in that fashion anyway.

I hope the name Lifelost is not as painful of a subject for you as it sounds, btw. that screenname stung me as unforgiveably painful for someone to be attached to.
__________________
Be well
Babs

C4-C7 Herniations
T5-T10 Herniations
L3-S1 Herniations
Thoracic Fusion via Thoracotomy 10/06

 
Old 08-11-2007, 09:20 PM   #5
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 30
LifeLost HB User
Re: When people ask "How are you?", what do you say?

Bab's, I chose the name because wht I feel what I'm living is'nt really a life. Many of the things that life consists of are absent from my life. I kinda consider myself to not really be living. And so many lives have been lost to chronic pain suicides that I don't want those people to be forgotten, I don't want those who feel like me to feel alone. It's a constant factor in many of our lives. Thank you for caring.

 
Old 08-11-2007, 09:35 PM   #6
Veteran
(female)
 
babs17's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 492
babs17 HB Userbabs17 HB User
Re: When people ask "How are you?", what do you say?

Well...your life is not completely lost. If it truely was/if you WERE NOT living...than you WOULD NOT have just made a big impact on me tonight.

I'm not alone right now. You said it to me tonight. That helps me tonight. You don't understand this...but that helps me.... ESPECIALLY tonight.

Another Question....and I really hope you don't mind.
Are you alone in a room full of people, alone? Or are you alone, alone?
__________________
Be well
Babs

C4-C7 Herniations
T5-T10 Herniations
L3-S1 Herniations
Thoracic Fusion via Thoracotomy 10/06

Last edited by babs17; 08-11-2007 at 09:38 PM. Reason: spelling errors

 
Old 08-11-2007, 09:52 PM   #7
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Redlands CA USA
Posts: 490
katkatdd HB User
Re: When people ask "How are you?", what do you say?

Well I know each day for me is a struggle with the pain I have and deal with and have no solid answers from my dr's. Very frustrating. And I get down in the dumps allot. ANd I have also lost allot of my friends because most of them were also my co-workers and the other ones I would go out with or travel with. And now I do none of that. I can't even work right now. So yup times are hard. I did hear a very good statement made by someone that also suffers everyday with pain and it really helps me. Whenever I get real down and feel like giving up I just tell myself the little statement that guy made. And it was... We can either get busy living, or get busy dying and I really want to get busy with living! I have kids to live for and take care of and they need me and I need them also.

 
Old 08-11-2007, 10:00 PM   #8
Veteran
(female)
 
babs17's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 492
babs17 HB Userbabs17 HB User
Re: When people ask "How are you?", what do you say?

Yeah...I was inspired recently by 2 quotes. I'm a real sap when it comes to taking in people's words and using them for my own direction on that particular day.

1) "It's not what happens to you. It's how you react to it."
2) "Live like you mean it. Love like you feel it."

I have a lust for life that saves me from many dark nights. However, I'm an analyzer...a dissector by nature, if you will. So, I need to make sure that I have thoughts that make sense to me. These 2 quotes have been keeping my mind steady for awhile now.
__________________
Be well
Babs

C4-C7 Herniations
T5-T10 Herniations
L3-S1 Herniations
Thoracic Fusion via Thoracotomy 10/06

 
Old 08-12-2007, 06:41 AM   #9
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,067
Baybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB User
Re: When people ask "How are you?", what do you say?

Hi, I do know what you're going through and at this point when someone asks how I am, I just repsond with "Doing fine, and yourself"?. Just as others said, many people don't want to hear about the pain (especially if they can't see that you have it). I only tell people my situation if they specifically ask. As for dating, in my own experience (doesn't mean it's like this for everyone), even if they knew about my medical issues, they thought it wouldn't be a problem, but lo and behold, turned out it was and suddenly contact was stopped. So unfortunately now, I don't even think about dating anymore. Same thing happened with my so called friends, and I also have pulled myself away when I get flares or pain issues with my spine b/c I know most people dont' want to deal with it. Or they just don't understand how much it limits your activities. So I wish I could offer more advice, but at least I know what you're going through.

 
Old 08-12-2007, 07:24 AM   #10
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Ireland
Posts: 716
Round1 HB User
Re: When people ask "How are you?", what do you say?

Life Lost,

I just find people dont care how are you, its just a comment, like awful weather. I find it easier to say good thanks and you? If they really care how you were, they would have called or they would have picked up the phone. I had a good social life before my back, but now I don't and friends have dissappeared. Peoples lifes are so busy, they don't think of you are how you are managing, if I hear once more "I ment to call you, but I'm just so busy......." "you look great", and I just say yep, its my back I'm complaining about !!! My pain has made be bitter towards these kind of people, but more thoughtful in other ways. If if hear there is something wrong or there sick, I will phone, sometimes it just shows them up !!!!

Round 1

 
Old 08-12-2007, 11:18 AM   #11
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Virginia
Posts: 3,303
BlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB User
Re: When people ask "How are you?", what do you say?

I don't want to lie and say I'm great or even fine, because if people find out about my problems, they don't take them too seriously (since I just said I'm great). Those who know will sometimes really be interested in how I'm doing, and generally you can tell. For the most part, though, "how are you" is a polite question and merits answers like:
"Hanging in there, and you?"
"Not too bad, and you?" (Yeah, cuz you've had worse days, but they don't have to know that.)
"Better than I deserve."
"Still breathing and still kicking!"
"Content with what God has given me."
"Improving with age."
"Better and better." (They don't have to know that you're still hurting.)

If they know you're having chronic pain and ask further, some other simple answers would be:
"Me and my Vicodin have become good friends, so I'm okay."
"Some days are better than others, but we can all say that!"
"Well, compared to my great-grandma, I'm doing really well."

All of these, of course, are said with a grin. Sometimes you gotta muster that up, but it's worth it to be able to have a conversation NOT all about you and your problems.

If they persist beyond that, maybe they really do care and you can answer with more detail. I always keep in mind, though, that no one wants to hear about how awful life is everytime they talk to me. (No, my life really isn't awful. Sometimes my pain is, but I'm blessed and refuse to forget it!) I find it good to deflect these questions except for a small select group of committed friends.

I hope one or two of these practical suggestions will help someone else.

Take care,
Emily

Last edited by BlueAtlas; 08-12-2007 at 11:19 AM.

 
Old 08-12-2007, 11:40 AM   #12
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: western us
Posts: 7,267
ms_west HB User
Re: When people ask "How are you?", what do you say?

Good question. I respond hanging in there. I really don't tell anyone how I am feeling and admit that I tell everyone on the board more than I do my own family. I feel that the individuals on this board have more of an understanding to the daily chronic back pain cycles because you are living it.

 
Old 08-12-2007, 03:59 PM   #13
Inactive
(male)
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NC,USA
Posts: 243
Jack24 HB User
Re: When people ask "How are you?", what do you say?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueAtlas View Post
I don't want to lie and say I'm great or even fine, because if people find out about my problems, they don't take them too seriously (since I just said I'm great). Those who know will sometimes really be interested in how I'm doing, and generally you can tell. For the most part, though, "how are you" is a polite question and merits answers like:
"Hanging in there, and you?"
"Not too bad, and you?" (Yeah, cuz you've had worse days, but they don't have to know that.)
"Better than I deserve."
"Still breathing and still kicking!"
"Content with what God has given me."
"Improving with age."
"Better and better." (They don't have to know that you're still hurting.)

If they know you're having chronic pain and ask further, some other simple answers would be:
"Me and my Vicodin have become good friends, so I'm okay."
"Some days are better than others, but we can all say that!"
"Well, compared to my great-grandma, I'm doing really well."

All of these, of course, are said with a grin. Sometimes you gotta muster that up, but it's worth it to be able to have a conversation NOT all about you and your problems.

If they persist beyond that, maybe they really do care and you can answer with more detail. I always keep in mind, though, that no one wants to hear about how awful life is everytime they talk to me. (No, my life really isn't awful. Sometimes my pain is, but I'm blessed and refuse to forget it!) I find it good to deflect these questions except for a small select group of committed friends.

I hope one or two of these practical suggestions will help someone else.

Take care,
Emily
Great reply. I copied it to keep.

One thing I have found out the hard way is to never tell them you take Scheduled pain meds. Most just don't know how it is. I pray every day for something to take the place of my pills and patches. I had trouble even when I told my sister.

 
Old 08-12-2007, 09:17 PM   #14
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Berryville, Virginia
Posts: 2,382
Justoneofus HB User
Re: When people ask "How are you?", what do you say?

Hi there. I thought I would chime in here. For the general day populous, I say Im fine to those who ask. If it's someone I have not seen in long time, my first answer is also, I'm great! Then if I see that the person is actually wanting to engage in true conversation, then I may explain my back injury, chronic pain, surgery, etc.

You have to learn to gauge people from the typical "how do ya do's", from the true "How are YOU" types.

I never lie, but I will refrain my telling the real tale, unless they are close friends or family, and even that, I keep it brief now. Most don't get it, so there is no point in trying to explain it anyway.

But in the beginning, I got really detailed with it all and they could see the pain on my face, or the way I walked.. it was obvious I was in so much pain. The pity I received was not what I wanted at all. I don't know what I was seeking, but that certainly wasn't it. I think I was just looking for a good ear. This was all before finding this board of course.

I learned people hurt just as bad for me and felt helpless to help me too. People never avoided me or anything like that though. I was constantly surrounded with friends and family, to which I am eternally grateful.

But I learned that I felt better when I wasn't the focus or the center of the conversation. But rather, I was more a "normal" person engaging in "normal" conversations in which my back was not discussed, but rather the everyday life things. I was much happier that way and it helped to fulfill some margin of normalcy, despite the chronic pain I lived in.

The power of positive thinking is crucial to us all here. We should always allow self pity, but only to a point. Then we have to pull from within to push out the negative thoughts and remember to constantly fight for the freedom we seek.

Hope this helps in some way. Take care.
__________________
"believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt

L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
Solidly Fused Nov-2006
A Success, but still improving!

 
Old 08-12-2007, 10:37 PM   #15
Veteran
(female)
 
bwitht's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Montana, USA
Posts: 364
bwitht HB User
Re: When people ask "How are you?", what do you say?

Hi,

A couple of my favorite answers are: "On the mend" and "Upright and mobile". That way if they do not really want to know, they will say thats good and move on with the conversation. If they know me very well, they will question further. The big problem I run into is that my daughter and husband get around a lot more than I do and they tell everyone I am doing really good, even though my recovery sucks so far. That makes for an interesting conversation.

Last edited by bwitht; 08-12-2007 at 10:39 PM.

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
out of so many people how many have hiv joshutha HIV Prevention 1 10-24-2008 01:15 AM
How do other people "interpret" OCD reactions? simplyj Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) 4 12-05-2007 03:01 PM
6 Month Olds Screaming When "New" Faces Come Around mlieteau Infant Care (up to 18 months old) 3 01-24-2007 07:20 AM
Lets Continue....."you Know You Have Panic Disorder When":.... Diane720 Panic Disorders 5 10-20-2006 02:57 PM
People "re-circumsizing" themselves seyzna Sexual Health - Men 11 10-08-2004 01:27 PM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added








TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



gmak (38), BB07 (21), katlin09 (20), cspineguy (20), tortoisegirl (18), Shoreline (16), Moldova (13), LadyBassPlayer (12), jonnstar (11), nochange (9)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1180), MSJayhawk (1013), Apollo123 (909), Titchou (857), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (763), ladybud (755), midwest1 (671), sammy64 (668), BlueSkies14 (607)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:17 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!