Looking Good

I’m going to do something today that I usually don’t. I’m ranting. Well…not exactly ranting. A rant implies wild and impassioned speech. I may be passionate about a bunch of stuff but I’m not wild. I’m not even undomesticated. So I’m not exactly ranting but I am upset. Maybe even a little annoyed.

I just read a post – no, that’s not true either – I just read two-thirds of a post, supposedly to make me, as one with a chronic illness, feel magnanimous towards those who have the nerve to say to me,  “You look good.”  Apparently before I had the benefit of the sensitivity of whoever wrote that drivel, err…. that post, I was supposed to be bothered, irked, and/or insulted by that comment. Really?!?

Yes, I have a chronic condition. Three actually. If you’ve read this for a time you know I have kidney disease and am on dialysis (and the specific target of the aforementioned post). I am also told that I am a cancer survivor though one really never survives as much as finds a way to eliminate its immediate danger. For me that meant the physical removal of the cancer and along with it two and parts of third internal organ while now still learning how to live without otherwise vital body parts. The third is a one of those rare diseases that is so rare you don’t even get to see commercials on TV for drugs that might or not might not improve my chance at a normal life. Instead that one has been kept at bay for 15 years or so by a relatively dangerous drug regimen that probably helped me join the ranks of the first two chronic conditions that I mentioned but at least it kept me alive long enough to develop them. Anyway, when someone tells me that I look good I say thank you. Apparently I’ve been doing that wrong.

If I read the part of the article that I read correctly, I read that first I should consider that the person who is telling me how wonderful I appear doesn’t mean anything insensitive by it. He or she probably doesn’t know how painful and depressing my ailment is. Ailments are. Next I should consider exactly how well I know this person. Perhaps some people are mistaking my healthy appearance for a healthy appearance because they don’t know the full extent of my painful and depressing ailment. Or ailments. Then I should thank them for their thoughtfulness but gently remind them how painful and depressing my ailment really is. Are. Is. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do after that because that’s when I threw my tablet across the room. (After making sure I was aiming it at a very soft pillow. I might have been annoyed but I’m not crazy.) (Not even wild.)

So, since I was unable to finish that drivel, err…. that post, let me tell you how to respond when someone comes up to you, whether or not you have a chronic condition, and whether or not he or she does, and says, “You look good.”  Say thank you and repay the compliment.

By that way, you’re looking pretty good. Have a nice day.


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