Sunday, October 17, 2010

I'M DOING FINE...THANK YOU!!!

I've been thinking about how many times a day I get asked this question, "How are you doing?" I always reply, "I'm fine, thank you." Well, something happened this past week that made me think real hard about my 'standard polite answer'.

This past Monday I went in for the woman's most dreaded medical test...THE MAMMOGRAM! Being like most people, I get nervous when I have this test done. I was told the usual, "Your Doctor will have the results on Wednesday and you will also get a letter from us in one week informing you of the results. So...the waiting game began after I left the medical center on Monday. I have had many mammograms done in the past and I always receive a letter about a week later telling me that it was normal. Well...on Friday, my iPhone rang and I was unable to pick up the call in time. I received the 'missed call and voice message status' on my iPhone. The lady identified herself as Jane Doe from the XYZ Internal Medicine Group. She said "Mrs. Gibson, please call me back, I need to speak with you about the results of your mammogram." Of course I returned the call immediately and was told by the answering service that the staff was out for lunch and would return in TWO HOURS! Oh no!!! I had to wait TWO HOURS???

My mind started spinning...Why did she call me? Why didn't they just send me the letter like they normally do? What if it was real bad news--I had a million things to do that day...how would I cope? TWO HOURS of total anxiety y'all!

In the meantime, my phone was ringing...personal calls and business calls. I got three calls during that time period and at sometime during all three conversations, I was asked "How are you doing today?" My answer was the same for all..."I'm fine thank you."

Isn't that how we respond even if our world might be in a big mess? Your child is in serious trouble, one of your parents is in critical condition in the hospital, you missed paying your mortgage payment, or you are a nervous wreck about something...anything.

Well, my story had a very happy ending. When I finally reached the Nurse on the phone, she explained that she was calling to inform me that my mammogram was normal! Whew! Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

So how about you? Do you tell people you are doing fine even when you might not be doing fine?

24 comments:

High Heeled Life said...

Yes! I always try my best to not bring someone else down... sometimes though I am betrayed by my eyes (so I've been told)...

I'm so happy to hear that all worked out on your testing!! HHL

PAT said...

I do the same. It is always I am good how are you?

Good news on your test!!

Tammy B said...

I always just say "fine, thank you" also. My father's step mother always gave everyone a listing of all the ailments that she had experienced since she last saw you. Given that, nobody ever asked her how she was.

Lori said...

Yes, standard answer. Kind of programmed for that reply.

Kathleen said...

Dear Miss Janice,
First, I'm so happy all is well with your recent test. You're good for another 10,000 miles!

You are so right. I never say anything unpleasant when asked how I am...there's a saying I've heard, the only people who want to hear about your health problems are your huband and your mother and sometimes your husband isn't listening!! Funny, but often true!

Warmly, Kathleen

Suburban Princess said...

I wish people would just leave a proper msg when they call, if she had just said everything is fine in the msg it would've saved you the stress.

Polish and Pearls said...

A man came through the line at the job I had in high school- I smiled and asked him politely "Hi, how are you?" and he responded with "I'm terrible," and just looked back at me. I've also had someone say "Well that's none of your business!" Completely uncomfortable for me! I mean, what are you supposed to say to people like that?!

Glad your results were just fine!

rgcblackie said...

Hello Miss Janice. I am relieved to hear that your tests were clear and that all is well. My grandmother and aunt both died of breast cancer, so the cause is close to my heart. Be well and have a wonderful day!!!

-Rebeca-
(aka rgcblackie)

Blonde Steel Magnolia said...

I'm am so glad you are okay! I always look forward to reading your posts and Tweets. The world would sparkle less without them.

I am programmed to respond "I'm fine." I appeared on HSN once as a "model" and when the host asked me how I was, I simply responded "I'm fine."

I wasn't! I was tickled to death to be on TV and wanted to convey that! I kicked myself after for such a lukewarm response.

P.S.-I had one of those results calls last week and it took hours to get a call back. Torture! I wish there were a better way to preserve privacy yet not scare the heck out of a girl by making her wait!

Blessed Rain said...

No I respond with whatever mood sometimes its "not to bad" others its "great." Sometimes I will even tell them "Terrible - hope yours is better." That was a standard answer for a few months after my mother died.
Normally when shopping with my BFF now and strangers ask me I will say things like, Crazy, insane, fun ect. Just to give them something from the normal - fine.
But then again I was a cashier and got very done with hearing the term fine so I normally find something else to say.

Farrah said...

I adore you, Miss Janice! I hope you're having a better day! Hugs!

Kathie Truitt said...

First of I thank God/Jesus for your test report. I was reading so fast to get to the end and sighed a big sigh of relief.

I always smile and say, 'fine.' Even 23 years ago after the death of our infant son I could tell who was just asking as part of conversation and I'd say the same thing. And I could tell who really wanted to know. I had a standard, "I have good days and bad" or "One day at a time," but mostly I would just say 'fine, thank you and how are you?'

I think it's impolite to start listing everything that's wrong unless that person is very, very close to you.

Manuela@TPOH said...

No I don't tell people that I don't know if life is not going well. I don't see the point in that. What are they going to do about it anyway? I'll tell people that I know well. But otherwise, "I'm fine how are you" is my standard reply.

Manuela

Princess Freckles said...

I always say that I'm doing great/fine/good/ect. When i talking to my husband or sister, i might be a little more honest. But really, in the scope of things, my worst day isn't that bad compared to many people.

I have a co-worker who always replies (always) with "still kickin'". It really irritates me.

midnight macaroons said...

Oh Miss Janice. I'm sorry you had to go through that terrifying episode. I had something very similar happen to me but the news was bad. However, God was good and I'm cancer free. They thought it was cancer but it wasn't. YAY! But that was a horrific event that scared the dixons out of me. Glad to hear that you are ok.

I tell the truth, "Can't complain, God's been good to me." Everything comes down to faith and my perception to life's problems. Words are powerful so I try to use them to encourage even myself when things are bad.

Beeutiful by Design said...

Yes I usually say "fine" but on today's blog post I did get grumpy.
I knew a lady that was a local news anchor here years ago and she would never ask "How are you doing" she would always ask something specific like "Is today going well?" or "Did you get everything done at work today?" I always thought that was better than the generic questions.

Precious and Pink said...

So glad it all went well in the end--it must be a relief to have it over with!

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Glad you got a good report -- I go for mine tomorrow. I always say "I'm good!" Sometimes they call me Mrs. Good at work -- ok by me!

The Doxie Diaries said...

Well, I tried to answer on my cell phone at work, but I see that it didn't take, so I will try to recreate it.

I'm so happy to hear that everything turned out positive.

I tend to tell people the same thing. I don't like to burden people with my troubles. My world could be falling down all around me and people would never know unless they were close friends or family. I save my problems for the friends who are truly interested and care to listen.

Lori
(Lmsbartow)

A Hint of Home said...

Yes, I hate to burden people. I don't like to complain.
I'm so happy your test came back normal. I can imagine the anxiety you felt for those two hours.
I posted your wonderful giveaway a few days ago. Got lots of compiments on all the P.D. stuff.
Have a great week!

stephanie said...

I always say the same too. I figure if I can't be a blessing to the world then I need to not answer my phone and stay inside the house all day. The world is a tough enough place without my woes adding to the mix...

Although that doesn't mean that sometimes I am tempted to just yell, "no, I'm not doing well" when the chips are down. Especially to those people who are ALWAYS sharing their daily dramas with me....

TW said...

I'm afraid I tend to stick with the more mundane "I'm fine," but there is an older man I know and have a lot of respect for, and though I haven't seen him for a while, my recollection is he always says, "I'm blessed.”

What a great reminder to count our blessings!

I'm glad one of your blessings for that day was an "all clear" on your test.

AngelaV said...

I always say "I'm fine". I feel it wouldn't be polite to burden others. I love the response one of your readers shared - "I'm blessed".

Michelle said...

Glad to hear the good news about your test results!

I know that is always scary. As for me, it depends on if the person is really my friend and "really asking" or not.

If they are really asking and they are really my friend then I tell the truth (and sometimes I can be too long winded about the truth-but my friends already know that- hee hee). Otherwise, I think saying "fine" is okay.