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15 Memes That Nail What It's Like Being Asked 'How Are You?' When You're Chronically Ill

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When you live with chronic illness, your health status tends to be “complicated.” Personally, I’m usually juggling several different illnesses, a bizarre assortment of symptoms, an infection or two and, on top of it all, whatever bug happens to be going around at the time, just for good measure. It’s a lot for even me to keep track of!

So when people casually ask how I’m doing, trying to come up with a response can be anywhere from awkward to difficult, depending on the person and the situation. Sometimes I throw out a generic “I’m fine,” perhaps if the person is a stranger or I’m just not feeling up to launching into an explanation of my health. Other times I might go into more detail, especially if it’s with someone I trust who genuinely cares.

Being dealt the “how are you?” question can be difficult when you live with chronic illness – even stressful for a few moments while you figure out how to respond. But there can also be some humor in the fact that what may seem like such a simple question – a formality, in many cases – can actually open a can of worms that would make most people’s jaws drop to the floor. Wait, you’re currently dealing with what?!? 

If humor helps you cope with the frustrations of life with illness, and never knowing what to say when you’re asked how you’re doing, the following memes are for you.


when people ask me how life is going: man falling down stairs
via @myillnessmythoughts Instagram


when someone asks how you are feeling: andy samberg playing guitar and shrieking
via @supportforspoonies Instagram


when doctors ask how you're doing: leslie knope smiling and saying "everything hurts and I'm dying"
via inflamed-and-untamed Tumblr


when someone asks you how you are when you haven't got the time and it's really not the place to actually be honest... ross gellar from "friends" saying "I'm fine!"
via @supportforspoonies Instagram


when I actually open up to someone about my illness: villain from the incredibles saying "you sly dog! you had me monologuing!"
via disabilityhealth Tumblr


when someone innocently asks how you're doing and you don't want to destroy them by telling them the truth. man saying "I'm fine"
via indomitableme Tumblr


person: "hey, how are you doing?" me: "great, thanks!" also me: conan o'brien crying
via @itpainsmetosay Instagram


what's wrong dear? I'm just having an allergic reaction to existence
via @myillnessmythoughts Instagram


"how was your week?" me: I am always emotionally and physically exhausted
via @just_spoonie_things Instagram


person: hey, how are you? me: good, thanks. *man sitting in fire*
via @just_spoonie_things Instagram


person: "are you ok?" me: "yea" boat called "no worries" sinking
via @supportforspoonies Instagram


when they ask how you're doing: minion frowning and giving a thumbs up
via @chronicillnessmemes Instagram


photo of gollum with the text "how are you feeling?"
via MemesHappen


when people ask how your life is going: person's hands sticking up from underwater and giving a thumbs up
via @myillnessmythoughts Instagram


when someone asks how you're doing and really wants to hear your honest answer
Originally published: June 6, 2018
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