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Does this annoy anyone else?!?

staceysstacey Posts: 99
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Matters of the Heart
Wasn't quite sure where to put this, so I'll put it in this category. Please forgive me in advance for this little rant...but, here goes...

I went to the grocery store and the clerk asked what happened to my back. It's kind of hard to be inconspicuous with the big black brace. Anyway, I told her I've just had back surgery. She asks what kind, I tell her, tell her it's my second one but different from the first. This is a regular clerk so I'm familiar with her, but don't really know her personally.

Just as soon as the last word comes out of my mouth she tells me that her moma has had the same surgery. Then she proceeds to give me her mother's complete spine history.

I'm a very patient person and can tolerate just about anything, talk to just about anybody. Her telling me her mother's whole history didn't bother me, BUT what did was when she'd tell me something, I'd say that I had that procedure or whatever, and she'd tell me that her mother's "issues" were much worse than mine. Example: She asked me if I'd had any ESIs, and I told her that I've had 3 a year for the last 4 years. She tells me that her mother has had 30. Thirty. Really?

Then she gets around to that ever popular, "who's your doctor", well, you guessed it...we have the same doctor.

I guess what I'm getting at is it annoys me to death when someone wants to have a "who's sicker" or "who's more injured or scarred" conversation. WHO CARES?!?!

I wish to God that it weren't even necessary for me to even have this conversation because I'd be in perfect health, but I'm not. People like that really get under my skin. I'd gladly give you all of my spinal problems if you want a higher score in this little game, but unfortunately that's not possible. This "who's worse" game must be first cousin to hypochondria. Why would anyone WANT to be in this position, much less trying to outdo another?

It annoys me also because with her naming my doctor (and her mother's), then stating that her mother had 30 ESIs, it makes my doctor sound like he's totally incompetent. Don't get me wrong, it's probably possible to have had that many, but she'd just a moment before that comment stated that her mother's spinal problems started 3 years ago! I think that's what p'd me off the most. Liar liar pants on fire...

Sorry for the rant, just had to vent X(


  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    I understand what you mean although I haven't had any spinal surgeries. It's kind of like when you have surgery and someone says you shouldn't have this or that problem because so and so had the same surgery and it didn't bother them at all. Also that they were jumping rope the next day...lol.
    I'm with you and don't understand why some people want to sound 'worse' than you. Shoot, I'm glad that I'm as well as I am and certainly don't want to be worse!
    So yes, it would annoy me too.

  • The worst offender of this annoying habit is my mother-in-law. She asks how my back is, then goes into all of her spinal woes as if the crap I deal with on a daily basis is nothing compared to her issues. I try to ignore it the best as I can. All it does is frustrate me.

    This is petty behavior: why on earth do people need to play the game of "I hurt more than you do"? I'm not sure, but think in my MIL's case she's just looking for attention.

    I have no problem with people who genuinely want to hear how I am doing and can possibly relate to me and offer advice/ear to listen. Its when the checklist starts: my pain is worse, I have more Dr. appointments, more surgery/procedures, whatever, etc....

    OK, I'll stop ranting now,

  • Oh Stacy, I feel for you :( I've got both a family member and a co worker that do it to me... and it's annoying as all get out! I can be talking to someone about what's going on... and this person will say, oh, how are you doing today? No matter what I say (a lot of the time I try to stop the oncoming train with a oh, doing okay today, about the same, whatever) and it's ON! Next comes an unending stream about how bad whatever it is they are complaining about today... I'm not unfeeling, I really feel bad for Anyway that is in pain... but really, you're in agony... and you walked your dog 3 times, went up and down your stairs 20 times went shopping in 4 stores AND on and on... if I could do ONE of those things I'd never have a moany thing to say again :P

    After yesterday-took my nephew to walmarts... grabbed a chair from the display and took it in the cart with us so I could sit! Hah, that is awesome :) anyway, was doing okay til the wait on line came.... why... please, tell me WHY people wait til they get to the freaking register to complain abotu something that needs a manager??? Stop at the courtesy desk and give the rest of us a break??? So, 20+ minutes on a line I was next on... then the ringer at the door goes off... so I've got to stand there for about 4 or 5 while he goes through the list line by line... for nothing it seems... then putting the stuff away. Unfortunately, when my back gets really bad I start to have some weird gasping thing... so my poor nephew had to see that and he felt bad.

    gah, I'm doing it! never mind... just know that you are NOT alone in your frustration! Hope the day is better!

    ps- you could say...really, how lucky is that... EVERYTIME she tries an upstage... nothing else, just those 4 words... eventually, they seem to get it.
  • Nodding... I've run into "people" such as your clerk. Before I retired our personnel specialist (Ms sun bunny okay) had like 6 little 1 hour visits with her Dermatologist to remove pre and cancerous freckle sized spots. She has the nerve to tell me that she "understands how I feel with procedures and such cuz of what she's going through!" Please, 5 surgeries in a year and a half, 6 months out of work to recover, and she compares an hour in the chair, coffee after with that? Stacey, they come in all sizes and shapes! (G)

    The other part you commented on.. "Hers is much worse than yours." I love that one. How on Gods green earth does *she* know that? I think some do that because they aren't getting the attention at home (the patient is), and this is their way to be the public supporting hero or something! She's not worth wasting your thoughts on! *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • LOL...sadly I hate to say I'm glad that I'm not alone.

    I think what my real issue is, is when people ask how you're feeling without really even caring. It just gives them an opening to tell their whole health history and dilemas.

    Oh Lisa, how I know about the MIL. I have one of those. Whew, is she a piece of work. Tomorrow it'll be 5 weeks since my surgery and she calls just about every other day...to tell me how bad she feels! UGH! I wouldn't answer the phone if I wouldn't be afraid that one time she really will have a crisis. Just like the little boy who cried wolf...And I think I'm probably the only person left that still listens to her (or at leasts pretends to :) ) Thank goodness she can't see me on the other end of the phone lol..

  • Great topic stacey. i'm sure every one here could relate to this subject.
    A gal that use to live next door to me was the same way. Would see her outside and make the mistake of asking her "how ya doing today" oh boy here it comes. she would reply "Ookkk except," and then go on for 20 minutes, about what ever the pain of the day was.
    Guess thats the way some people are, no matter what you have to say, they have a story that will top it, and they tell you all about it.
    I guess some people do it because they are lonely, and other people do it because they just dont know any better.

    take care
  • Stacey,

    Your story reminds me of all those comments I used to get. Now I have come up with a standard line to stop it all. I just say something to the effect "gosh I am lucky to not have issues as bad as yours." Yep pretty much stops all of that stuff now. Heck I get tired of hearing myself think or say how bad I feel so I don't even like to talk about it anymore. I tried to realize maybe they do have pain and I am being insensitive so I came up with the pattern answer to get out of it all together. Now here is a new one on me this go around, I have actually had more people message me asking how I was doing. I am very well known for disappearing when I don't feel well. When it comes in as a text message you don't get all the other stuff and it is pretty simple to answer still here, will call if i need something thanks for the concerns.

    But I like you have never understood the "I am sicker than you are thing". I don't want to be like this and would rather be out playing and enjoying life. So maybe it is they see you in a place to relate to them and feel comfortable telling you, now I am being really nice, eh, hahaha.
  • How I can relate to this issue. Just returned from rehab and feeling a bit wornout the taxi driver, who also is my brother-in-law started on with how bad his back is again. 3 times a week we have this chat and no matter how much I suggest he get medical help or try to change the topic we are back again to the same. He is so much worse than me and how lucky I am to "magically" recover so quickly. Unfortunately the reality is he has no interest in trying to help himself, it's easier to just keep up the "poor-me" and not attempt to improve his life. I sound so horrible being so unsympathetic but really it gets hard to listen to. How does he know what my back feels like, or how much effort goes into trying to regain mobility? People like that don't have time to listen to others they are stuck in a place of negativity. If anyone has the answer to help people to help themselves could they please enlighten me. Thank you for allowing me to get that off my meagre chest.LOL Hopefully I never allow myself to join the ranks of those who always will be enjoying bad health. Hugs n' Loves - Paula
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I have a sister who gets occasional back aches. No surgeries and MRI shows nothing to cause the worst pain in her life. Hers is soooo much worse then mine. I couldnt possibly understand how she feels. REALLY, I have 7 surgeries under my belt with too many spine issues to go into. If she feels it necessary to beat me at the game of who has the worst spine and pain let her think she has me topped. I dont have the energy to even deal with that crap.
  • Hi there,

    I know what you mean with the MIL phone calls. Mine would call and when the message finished she would say "if your there pick up the phone" with such an attitude. I would pick up because I thought something could be wrong: never was. Then I stopped picking up the phone.

    I think she has finally gotten it: now she at least leaves a quick message, no more "pick up the phone".
  • Yes, everyone and their brother has back problems. Half of them have some miracle cure that would fix me right up if I would just try it.

    It is really hard to explain that no, my injury is permanent. I do not have a herniated disk or a strained muscle. I'm sorry you've had back problems, really I am. I am pretty sure they are not at all the same as mine.

    I do not want to get into a competition with someone, but a torn hamstring just isn't the same as a shattered femur, is it? Both are painful, yes, but the treatment isn't the same, the prognosis isn't the same, the injury just isn't the same.

  • I still don't understand why any of the people described in this post would think it is appropriate to ask such personal questions or tell someone such personal details of their lives. Would that cashier look at the guy in line scratching his privates and ask how he got the STD? Would you then share stories about one-night stands?

    It's bad enough living with the problem, I prefer to talk about anything else. Sometimes the best way to stop the conversation is to steer it to something else. "How is your new grandchild?" "Did you go to the show at school?" "Where did you find that blouse?" The best defense is a good offense.
  • Kris,

    The problem with "how's your grandchildren", "did you find that blouse" and such, not juicy enough for nosy people, or people who want to get sympathy from new people as they probably already whined to everyone else they know!!! People that are 'normal' with no real issues tend to be magnets for us and our issues. People now a days have no consideration for others problems - as long as the problem isn't theirs, they are interested. :(

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • (removed by me. I guess my story didn't fit in here.)
  • maybe part of the problem is.... the pain they have is the worst they've ever had...

    In some ways I can understand that, I'm in a lot of pain...every day, without fail or improvement... but I've not had spine surgery... failed or otherwise, so I can in no way comprehend the pain some of the folks on this site are in. I often wonder how some are able to walk around at all... especially when I'm having a bad day and want to stay in bed.

    Maybe it's the same way with those that we meet... that feel the need to tell us how bad they are....
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