Five Ways to Respond to “How Are You Feeling?” When You Have a Rare Disease

January 3, 2015

When you’re having an off day because of your rare disease (and lets face it: is there ever really an “on” day?) it can be hard to figure out the best way to respond to “how are you feeling?” So many questions start racing through your mind: do they really care? Will they be annoyed if I’m honest? Are they just being polite? Wait, did I already tell them I was sick?

Between coworkers, friends, and family, it can be a minefield of social destruction trying to find just the right words to say, I’m feeling like I crawled out of my grave this morning without sounding like a Debbie Downer.

You will always have people in your life who really do want to know–and you’ll feel comfortable and free to unload your stress if they’re offering an opening. But for the holiday dinner parties with your uncle’s best friend’s sister-in-law? Here are six reasonable ways to respond to the question without having a full throttle meltdown.

1. Sugarcoat it: “Good! You know, I have my off-days here and there, but I’m hanging in there.


2. Flip it. “I’m alright! But what about you? I heard you just graduated–congrats!”


3.  Current Events: “Not great, but probably a lot better than the CEO of Sony, right?”


4.  Tactical Diversion. “Solid, but oh my god, have you tried these cheese puffs? No? Just be ready to back me up in taking one of these waiters hostage if they come around with the tray.


5. Change the Direction: “I’m feeling so relieved that I finished all my holiday shopping just in time! Thank god for 24-hour-gas stations, am I right?”




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