Even though I’m a strong advocate of open an honest communication–especially when it comes to my rheumatoid arthritis–sometimes I’m struck by the huge distance between the words that come out of my mouth, and what I’m really thinking or feeling.
And it’s not that I feel guilty about this…sometimes, giving non-specific answers just seems like the best and easiest thing to do. Take, for example, this question: “How are you feeling?”
How I answer this question depends not only upon how I’m actually feeling, but also upon who I’m speaking with. There are times when this question is being used as a generic greeting, so I respond with an equally generic response. “I’m doing okay, and you?” But if I’m asked by someone who really wants to know how I’m feeling, I try to provide a little more information and truth in my answer. “I’m okay, but my left knee is really acting up” or “I’m having a rough day.”
Which got me to thinking the other day: wouldn’t it be nice to have an RA to English translator, to do the work for us when we just don’t feel like filling in all the blanks? For example, when I say that I’m having a really good day, this rarely means that I’m anywhere close to being pain-free…it just means that my overall pain levels are lower than usual.
Such a translator could also prove very helpful with another common example of “social discourse: all of the suggestions that we are subjected to, usually while at social events. (You know what I’m talking about.) “I too used to have what you have, but I started taking bee pollen once a week and I was completely cured!” and so on, and so on!
I used to get upset at some of these comments. I used to feel the need to educate these people about the truth of my disease. But not anymore. Once again, there might be someone who is really interesting in sharing some insightful information…and I respond accordingly…but experience has shown me that a majority of these individuals don’t really care about what I’m going through; they’re solely interested in passing on something trivial that they heard a few days before.
So I smile, tell them that I’d love to hear more about whatever they have to say, and then feign the sudden need to answer my phone/go to the bathroom/check on something in the kitchen/etc. If I were to translate what I’m really thinking at such a moment, it wouldn’t be too–let’s just say–family friendly!
I posted one of my “RA to English Translations” (shown above) on Twitter earlier this week, and in response got some great translations such as the following two from Stephanie and Brandy. And I chuckled, because there have been multiple times in the past when I’ve said these words, and meant the exact same thing.
So I’d like to close this post by asking, what’s your favorite RA to English translation?
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!