As a society, and as a general optimist we are pretty much trained to say so much in response to the question “How are you?” I found myself saying it to my doctor again, with a smile on my face.
Dr : “How have you been doing with your illness?”
Me: “Oh, I am great, how are you?”
Dr : “You seem to be responding fairly well to the meds still, do you feel they are still working for you?”
Me: “Well yes, they work great, I feel great.”
Dr.: “No problems with the weather change?”
Me: “Oh that, yes, well bad crushing chest pain that started three weeks ago, but it only lasted about a week, and its gone now, most the time”
Dr.: ” So you are you able to dance again?”
Me: “Well no, not really, I guess my breathing problems are still not under control enough for that. Honestly I know this illness should be my biggest concern but the medicines are working well enough, and my breathing issues have been bad enough, that this illness hasn’t been my biggest health concern in over a year I feel great.”
But maybe what I should have mentioned is I wake up in pain, and sometimes can’t sleep because the pain wakes me. And that no matter what mild activities I do all day, I am usually worn out and in bed by 5 pm or so. Ok sometimes 3. And if I work or have plans in the evening, I have to plan for pretty much doing nothing all day, so I can make it to my evening plans and still be upright. Maybe he could have made a slight adjustment to my medications to help. But I think of that as being good.
In comparasion that IS good. I am getting out of bed EVERY day. Some mornings I exercise. I am starting to spend some time with my good friends again. I show up at my part time job, I volunteer occassionally at the gallery, I paint, I contribute to housework, I spend time with my family. For me these are things I have not always been able to do, and I am so grateful. For me they are huge. Comparisions make a huge difference to those of use who deal with chronic illnesses. Life doesn’t have to be someone elses idea of good. I didn’t lie to my doctor when I said I was good. I just forgot his idea of good is different than mine.