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· Brenda
200 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't know if I am being overly sensitive or if this was just a "funny" email. It hit me the wrong way and before I get "offended" (ok I already am) I want to see what other people think.

It's titled "I'm fine, how are you"

I'm Fine - How are you?
There's nothing the matter with me,
I'm just as healthy as can be,
I have arthritis in both knees,
And when I talk, I talk with a wheeze.
My pulse is weak, my blood is thin,
But I'm awfully well for the shape I'm in.
All my teeth have had to come out,
And my diet I hate to think about.
I'm overweight and I can't get thin,
But I'm awfully well for the shape I'm in.
And arch supports I need for my feet.
Or I wouldn't be able to go out in the street.
Sleep is denied me night after night,
But every morning I find I'm all right.
My memory's failing, my head's in a spin.
But I'm awfully well for the shape I'm in.
Old age is golden I've heard it said,
But sometimes I wonder, as I go to bed.
With my ears in a drawer, my teeth in a cup,
And my glasses on a shelf, until I get up.
And when sleep dims my eyes, I say to myself,
Is there anything else I should lay on the shelf?
The reason I know my Youth has been spent,
Is my get-up-and-go has got-up-and-went!
But really I don't mind, when I think with a grin,
Of all the places my get-up has been.
I get up each morning and dust off my wits,
Pick up the paper and read the obits.
If my name is missing, I'm therefore not dead,
So I eat a good breakfast and jump back into bed.
The moral of this as the tale unfolds,
Is that for you and me, who are growing old.
It is better to say "I'm fine" with a grin,
Than to let people know the shape we are in.

Now he is the worst at asking how I am and I refuse to lie to appease anyone. I don't go into detail and I don't complain I just say "oh it's nother one of those days" or something on the bad days. So am I wrong to take his email this way or would you take it that way too?

· Registered
807 Posts

I do not now the intent of the sender...however I get these emails all the time, from my dad (who worries constantly about me and calls 2x a week), from my older friends (family friends who are my folks age) and from some of my not so close email buddies....

I do not take it as more than someone got an email, they thought was cute, or applied to them, or just wanted to let me know they were thinking of they forwarded it on, never really caring about the content....

They are an inane waste of the readers time, and in no way would I take them personally...

Just me...Stephanie

· Registered
2,444 Posts
I would not take it personally either - but only you know the person who sent it to you and the context under which it might have been sent. I may be inclined to jokingly respond "I'm fine" back to this person. Or "I'm fine for me".

Or to not respond at all, which is my usual response to forwards these days!

· Registered
61 Posts
Two of the posts here say they hear this alot from people very close.
For both I would take it that these people are trying to tell you they think they understand.
You say you are ok or you say it is just one of those days but they know you are just being strong and not saying it all.

This poem reads to me alot like my wife. She could well have written this as the same emotions I have heard her say many times.

People ask all the time how someone is doing but a person gets the feeling they are just asking to be polite and not because they want to know. The answer then is I'm fine.

Or a person asks and the person just does not feel like going into it all as they feel no one wants to hear all of this stuff. The answer again is I'm fine.

The person writing this is pretty well saying anyone can tell I'm not fine but it could be worse.
I'm here and thats the best I can say.
I'm fine for the shape I'm in.

I found I had to explain something much like this to a family memebr a few years ago.
He would ask how my wife was and my answer was she is doing good.
He would then say well why dont you drive over and we will set out on the deck by the pool have a cook out and maybe take the boat out on the lake for the day.
I would always have to say we can't.
He started to take it personal and thought we were avoiding him.
So I had to explain that just because I said she was doing good it did not mean she was good for me or you she is good for her.
She takes a drive like to your house and she is stiff and in pain for days.
She can never set on a deck and use the pool the sun would tear her apart.
The boat is out of the question for the same reason.
We can not going camping or hiking with you the bed would make her hurt so bad she could hardly walk.

he responded I thought you said she is good. that is not good it is terrible.
I agreed yes it is. But she is not having to much pain right now. She is not in a bad flare, she is walking just fine right now.
So for her she is doing real good. Right now this is the best we can ask for, it is all we have. To us this is good.

He responded he did not know this and asked if it would never change.
I told him I can't say never as something new is always possible and we always hope.
But this is what we have for right now.
For us this is good. She is Good for the shape she is in.

· Registered
2,872 Posts
Hello Brenda

I have seen similar to this several times before and feel it reflects a great truth whether regarding chronic illness or growing old. In fact in everyday life in general few people are genuinely interested in other people's welfare.
It is a constant theme on this forum and one of the needs that is met by the forum.

If I ask how my very old neighbour is as we pass, I don't really want to have to stand half an hour while she regales me with her bowel movement history for the past fortnight, to take an extreme example. I very much doubt that he sent it in any mean spirit, probably just a wry reflection which he himself understands and empathy for you.

Perhaps if you mentioned it to him, saying that it had impressed you and made you think about such issues, which is true enough, you could have a mutually useful discussion.

Don't take it to heart though ! I think we all have a heightened sensitivity to the problem.


· Brenda
200 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow. Thank you all for your replies. I'm so glad I asked before I let him know I was upset. RWB, thank you for sharing that. Perhaps if I tell people what "I'm fine" means, we can go through that just once and from then on they would know. I, too, have people who think the good days are what a normal person goes through. I can't blame them, they have no way of knowing it isn't. It does make me uncomfortable when they wonder why I can't do things on the good days. Clare, thanks for the idea. It is a good opening to talk to him. I hate to do it, but maybe doing it once and for all will get it overwith. Thank you all so much :)

· Registered
23 Posts
christianirc, Like Maia said, only you can decide what the person who forwarded that Email to you meant for you. Maybe it was, I understand or maybe it was I'm thinking of you. Maybe it was to make you laugh....I think RWB200 explained it pretty well. People who don't have Lupus or someone they love with Lupus don't understand all that we go through. And things we now can't do because of our illness. My Husband and I use to bowl on leauge. The Dr felt it would be best for me to take this year off. I just don't have the heart to go most league nights, and sit and watch. Everyone always asks why can't I bowl, especially if they see me at the store or at the bank. They don't see anything wrong with me. A few weeks ago one of the guys who bowl with us on league came up and asked my Husband how I was. My Husband told him that I was feeling okay today. Then he said to my Husband, Please tell Lori I totally understand, my neice has been ill with Lupus for a few years now. It was so nice to hear that at least one person in our group of friends does understand.

· Registered
61 Posts
After I explained to my brother what good meant he now takes a diferent approach with me. He will ask my wife and let it go when she says she is good. If he asks me and I say the same he will now say.
" Ok - Now tell me what that really means"
If he wants the details he will do this. If he is satisfied he will not.
I will give him more deatils if he asks but do not push it on him if he don't.

I know he still does not completely understand but it is hard to understand what you have not been through.
If you have not been some place you can not completely understand it when someone describes it.

I think it helped him that it was me that explained it to him.
But I could not do it till my wife explained it to me.

What she told me that hit me more then anything else and is still one of the saddest things I have ever heard was when she told me that when she said she felt real good today did not mean she did not have pain.
She never has a day without it. Real good means she has less pain that day.

No one can understand this unless it is explained or they have lived it.
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