For the non ill person I would assume the general answer would either be fine or great even if they are not. I find myself in an awkward position when asked that everyday question because by saying the typical fine or great I am lying out my teeth. Generally I’m thinking to myself one day if I am lucky enough I will be at peace but not likely anytime soon.
Just say “I’m ok, and you?” They’re usually not asking for anything specific more than just being polite conversation. By returning the question, it’s just being polite back and deflects further questions that you might be trying to avoid. If it’s your doctor asking, then by all means unload your laundry list of issues, but generally acquaintances and such aren’t particularly interested. If they are specifically interested, they will make it known in more certain terms. Saying you are ok is relative and not a lie either. If you aren’t currently on fire or bleeding buckets of blood, then you are ok. Your mileage may vary.
I completely agree with bob; it’s a convention of conversation and doesn’t warrant more unless more is asked. Oh, and I do consider myself a “non-ill” person.
In general, I would agree with the “I’m OK, and you?” statement. If, however, they ask specifically about diabetes, you can answer with…“do you want the socially acceptable response or do you want the truth?” The truth would be…well, we can all imagine what the truth would be. (I HATE when people ask how my daughter is doing “with her diabetes.”)
Asking if they want the socially acceptable answer is passive aggressive and not entirely polite either. If you don’t like the questions or don’t have the energy to deal with it, the simple “ok, and how are you?” approach still applies. That will stop most people from pressing further. If they continue or insist with further questions: they are either genuinely interested in your well being (or your daughter’s in your case) or they’re just clueless and/or nosy. Most times you can distinguish the two easily.
I’ve had a lot of health problems lately and my standard answer is “I’m hanging in there”. It’s friendly, not a lie, and most people don’t ask any more questions.
I have never minded being asked how I am doing, and like Zoe, I don’t really consider myself ill. I am more stymied by the question “How is your blood sugar?” and usually say “fine” rather than launch into “well, it was 86 when I got up, 220 two hours after breakfast despite eating the same and taking the same bolus as yesterday, when it was 66, etc. etc.”
I usually say “fabulous” or “awesome” beause I usually am. And, if I’m not, that’s something to work towards that can perhaps be alluded to by a rude adjective preceding “fabulous” or “awesome”?
I don’t consider myself ill. Yes, I have a condition I need to carefully monitor and will need to do so indefinitely… but I don’t think I’m sick or ill.
My answer almost never has anything to do with diabetes. If I’m feeling well and having a good day I say so. If I’m feeling under the weather (ie I’ve had a cold now for a week) or having a bad day, I say so.
I often have people specifically ask “how is your Diabetes?” to which I relpy “Well, I still have it”. Hah!
Most days: “I’m good. And you?” (I realize that saying “I’m good” is pretentious and that the grammatically-correct answer would be, “I’m well.” However, all said and done, I’m not well. But I am good. )
On very bad days: “Survivin’” or “I’m alive” or “Can’t complain”. Always with a smile. Few people are interested in why I’m not good, and I am not interested in getting into why I’m not doing well. They won’t understand. Although I’m aware enough that if someone gives a less-than-usual answer (especially an employee), I ask him/her why. And I am interested.
Now that I think about it, with people I’m closer to, if they ask and I’ve just tested and my BG is like 50, I’ll say “actually, I’m zonked out of my gourd right now” usually followed by munching.
Depending on my mood anywhere from good, well, excellent, to hanging in there and . . . . eh, I’ve had better days. Depends on who’s asking too. As mentioned most situations are social convention and they’re really not interested in my day to day tribulations any more than I’m interested in theirs when I ask. It is polite to ask, and equally polite to respond in a positive note.
For those who truly care, they know when something is wrong and will usually press further just as I would do for those people I’m truly concerned about.
I am a talker. I feel like it is partially my job to educate (I am an adult educator by profession, so…) No one asks, because I talk. Our big boss is a real hypocondriac. Stays home if he wakes up in the middle of the night. I made comment today that if he had D, he would NEVER be at work (He rarely is and causes havoc with his stupidity) Needed to vent.
I have a lot of great days and a lot of not so great days. The people I work with are still stupid about D, but have a greater understanding after 8 years. Been having problems lately and trying new things. so all anyone does is “check on me” which I appreciate.
Talk, educate, tell the truth. It helps if more understand–makes it easier for all of us!!
I’m totally a talker too but I sort of got derailed by studying martial arts a few years ago. While I’m not deluded enough to argue that diabetes doesn’t suck, I will always argue that you can beat it. While it’s dozens of annoying chores every day, each one is an opportunity for a victory and a great opportunity to feel you are doing something to improve things. If a number sucks, it’s not because you suck if you had a plan. If a plan goes out of whack, you can still get good data and then put your helmet on and light the candle again!
i know what you mean about that feeling of not wanting to burden the ignornant person asking the question and wanting to always just live truthfully…
we have a lot of regulars at our restaurant and while i love all of my customers and i value the relationship we have, these people don’t see me very much outside of my doors but they feel a connection and i am very open about my disease some people ask in concern others outta small talk, some feel guilty or something when they see me testing or injecting…
i don’t have an answer on how to handle other that just do what makes you most comfortable most times i shrug off the question with a passing answer but some people i care enough to let them in…
but its always awkward and they never ask when everything is easy breeezy…lol
Most of the time, when someone asks me that question, I will simply answer: I’m well, thank you." Other times I answer: “Okay.”. If someone ask me and I get the feeling that they are prying into my personal life, of if I do not know them, I may answer: “Who wants to know?”
If you really want to have fun with it just answer “I been high all day” and waiting for the crash down to normal! Make you have a grin on your face when doing it!
It’s okay to say “fine” because most people don’t want to hear a litany of woes or medical report from a perfunctory question. I sure don’t unless I’m asking a friend who’s been ill. Where I live it’s common for people to ask, “what are you doing?” as an opening way of saying hello. Doesn’t mean they want to actually hear or care what I’m doing at the moment. First few times I heard this, I was tempted to answer, “I’m talking to you.”
It depends on the context in which they are asking. For example, some people just ask this as a general course of conversation when they haven’t seen you for awhile (i.e., not related to anything health-specific, just as a courtesy). When it is asked in that way, I say, “I’m good. How are you?”
BUT, I think what you might be getting at is how to respond when you know someone is asking about D. For example, I know when my spouse is asking in a certain tone, it’s a question about my blood sugar (and sometimes the question will just be, “How’s your sugar?”) In addition, I have one coworker who knows I have D and she will ask sometimes how I’m doing. I know that she’s really asking if my D is ok, if I am having a good or bad day D-wise. Depending on how I’m feeling, sometimes I’ll answer honestly and sometimes I won’t. It just depends. Some days I really don’t feel like talking about it at all.