How are you? - brief responses.

<br />
What do you say? What do you do?<br />
When someone questions &ldquo;How are you?&rdquo;<br />
Do you tell the truth or lie?<br />
Or do you simply ask them &ldquo;Why?&rdquo;<br />
<br />
When people ask you how you are.<br />
They push the verbal door ajar.<br />
But most will not invite you in.<br />
So explanations can&rsquo;t begin.<br />
<br />
I feel this question, when it&rsquo;s said.<br />
Is meaning something else instead.<br />
It doesn&rsquo;t mean they want to know.<br />
Or want to see your feelings show.<br />
<br />
If you have troubles or you&rsquo;re vexed.<br />
What reply would be your next?<br />
Would your response fill a foolscap?<br />
Or would you state that you feel crap?<br />
<br />
If your life&rsquo;s so miserable.<br />
You&rsquo;d like to be invisible.<br />
Do you shrug and say &ldquo;So- so!&rdquo;<br />
Or tell them &ldquo;You don&rsquo;t want to know!&rdquo;<br />
<br />
Would you say &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a long story.&rdquo;<br />
Or perhaps &ldquo;It&rsquo;s far too gory.&rdquo;<br />
Would you rake through all the muck.<br />
Or simply say your life is &lsquo;Yuck&rsquo;.<br />
<br />
I don&rsquo;t want to burden folk.<br />
So I might smile or tell a joke.<br />
But illnesses I will sideline.<br />
And retort that - &rdquo;I&rsquo;m just fine!&rdquo;<br />
<br />
I like my answers short and sweet.<br />
So&rsquo; try to keep them all upbeat.<br />
Then when answering I&rsquo;ll say.<br />
&ldquo;I think on balance I&rsquo;m &ndash; okay!&rdquo;<br />
<br />
B. Withers 2012<br />

Hello Bill. I have to say that this was marvelously done. I can definitely understand it's far too gory as a reply. That's usually the one on my mind but I tend not to say. When I go into detail, I'm usually told to keep the gore down. It's not gory to me anymore, but I realize explaining the ins and outs of many of the things I go through are gory to most normal people. I thought this poem was really, really great. I think it speaks for all of us here on ostomates. Like you said before, people who are willing to listen to a full explanation of your health are few and far between. Keep on writing, Simi.

Oh, and please forgive any typos... sometimes I don't catch them in time, especially when I type too fast.

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Lol, same here. My brain and typing are very well known. Nice one, Bill. Like that. :)

True words, most say it out of politeness I guess. So I think the quick response is in order. Sometimes when people say good morning I reply with a question, is it?..or a simple response of mornin'

Stories of Living Life to the Fullest from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister
Hello everybody.Thank you all for your comments which are much appreciated.Simi: On a system that does not appear to have a spell-checker, spelling and typing errors are bound to occur. I quite like them as they sometimes alter the context of the correspondence dramatically or humorously. They can also throw up some unintended concepts that stimulate me to versification.Mooza: Your posts are great as they clearly express the way you feel in ways that nobody else uses. Some of the most effective poetry is written in this colloquial and personal way. I have often wished that I could emulate this style but when I have tried, it simply doesn't come out in that free-flowing style that you manage to capture in your posts. Keep posting!!Mrs A: You are right about the Good morning greeting and responses This might be an appropriate concept for yet another verse or two.I believe the greeting of Good-morning is simply an abbreviation for I wish you a good morning - If so, then an appropriate response would be Thank you! and I wish you a good morning too.One of my friends starts his conversations with Greetings! - which sounds a bit odd at first but it does avoid implying any positive or negative about the day. Perhaps we should start a thread and collect all these brief greetings and responses. I'm sure there must be some humorous ones as well as those used on a daily basis. Best wishes Bill
I have just noticed that this format does not reproduce inverted commas, so please feel free to add them where you think they might be appropriate.Chuckle! - chuckle! Bill

Hey Bill, thanks but unfortunately my spelling mistakes and crazy chit chats are really real LOL. But on this convo-topic, honestly Mrs. A, the days of me working and being on big doses for long periods of prednisone, yeah that nasty crapola, I would have double dared anyone to say good morning. Sometimes I even scared myself how nasty I was on those meds. Even my boss would say "Good morning, how are you?" and keep walking. OMG, he should be happy he made it that far LOL because he did cop a lot from me... x x nice, yes, scary. Hell yeah :) XX

, !@#$%^_)( There ya go, my pronunciations things.

Hi Bill, great poem. Ambies x.

Hi Bill, love the poem. It captions it very well, people were always asking how I was when I came out of the hospital and I never wanted to go into detail because like you say, it's too gory! Especially for the people that haven't been there while you're going through it all! But when I just said I'm okay, I always imagine they are thinking, "What was I even doing in the hospital?" because they can't see the reason I was there! Slightly related, I hated it when a couple of people (who didn't know about the ileostomy) looked at me and said, "It's so good to see you out and about" or something similar. Just because you've been in the hospital for a couple of months doesn't mean you want to stay indoors forever! Ha ha. Sophie x

Your poems amuse me so much, Bill. I identify with this one in particular because lately I kind of resent saying I'm fine when I just had my freaking colon removed, and even though I've accepted this development it's not exactly what I consider fine. I've had to redefine the word in my head, because when people ask me if I'm doing fine they're really asking if they need to do anything for me, and the answer is no. If they're strangers and they ask me how I'm doing, they'll be taken aback if I say, Well, pooping through my stomach isn't my idea of a good time so not too well at the moment. So if you say fine enough, do you believe it?

I've started answering my doctor's inquiries with "As well as can be expected." He doesn't seem to know how to respond to that one.

Hello theluckyfrog. Thank you so much for your feedback on the verses. There are so many things that I cross my mind when people ask me this sort of question but I try to keep the more negative ones to myself. In the main I see most of these questions as people's attempts at trying to make conversation - a bit like talking about the weather. (a British thing!)Best wishes Bill
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