It’s one of those questions that all of us with MS get. And it’s one that most of us with MS don’t like to answer.
How do you respond when someone asks you “are you doing OK?”
#1 You can say “Yes, I’m fine, thanks,” even if you’re dragging and defiantly not OK, and be done with it.
#3 You can answer by asking your own question: “How much time do you have?” Then, you laugh. Hopefully, the other person also laughs and you’re done with it. (Of course, the other person may actually want to know what’s happening with your MS. In that case, ask that person to “have a seat” and revert back to answer #2).
This “are you OK?” question recently was the subject of a thread of posts on the Facebook group “We’re Not Drunk, We Have MS.” And there were a lot of suggestions about how to answer — or not:
“I’m as okay as okay gets.”
“If I’m out then I honestly reply, ‘Thanks for asking. Today’s a good day.’ Because we ALL know of the days, if not months, we’re NOT able to be out!”
“I used to tell everyone that I was good, even if I wasn’t. Since this latest exacerbation, I’ve started shrugging and saying, ‘I’m Okay.’ If the person says, ‘Just Okay?’ I will tell them the truth.”
“I’ve had MS for 21 years and I always say I’m Ok, mainly because people don’t understand.”
For years my answer has been, to anyone other than a relative or a close friend, “I’m slow, but I usually get where I’m going.” But, in the posts on the “We’re Not Drunk, We Have MS” Facebook group I think I found the perfect answer:
“Ask me tomorrow and I’ll tell you how I felt today.”
It’s the truth and it seems to cover all contingencies.
How do you answer when someone asks you “Are you OK?” What works for you?
(A version of this post first appeared as my column on www.multiplesclerosisnewstoday).
Photo: Matus Laslofi