I Am Fine

I am fine - not great, not terrible; just "fine". I used to be good - great, even. But then, the rheum-dragon hit me and 'good' and 'great' turned into 'ok'.

This often bugs me because I don’t want to feel just average. I’ve always been pretty dang awesome, and to be knocked down a few rungs by something I didn’t even ask for or have no control over hits differently.

The word "fine"

"Fine" is a funny word. It’s the word that is always fraught with meaning. Some people use it passive-aggressively when they want someone to pick up on their emotional state and delve deeper.

I’ve used that word in that way before, but I tend to shy away from it for that reason. Why use that word when there is a myriad of others to choose from? There are so many other words that convey the same or similar meaning, so why do I choose fine to describe how I feel with rheumatoid disease?

Fine versus okay

I think I use the word fine because I aspire to it. I want to be fine. I know I am not going to be good, great, or fantastic. On my bad days, "fine" sits on the line at the far end of the horizon.

I could use the word ‘okay’, which basically means the exact same thing, but it just doesn’t convey the right meaning. "Okay" just doesn’t feel as great as "fine"; it kind of feels more like "I’m managing" (which, now that I think about it, I am, but that’s not what I want to show to the world).

"Fine" is just enough. I want to be "just enough," just healthy enough to live happily; just able-bodied enough to accomplish what I need to do. If I say "fine" then, hopefully, at some point, it becomes true.

"Fine" is just enough

"Fine" is just enough, but what does that mean for me? Just like this terrible autoimmune, there are varying degrees of, well, everything.

So, how do I define "fine"? It’s rice with dinner, ghee on toast, avocado mash with no lemon. I would prefer something more, but it’ll get me by. "Fine" is going to the grocery store for 1 item. The situation is not ideal, but it's also not fabulous. By the way, I do not like ghee (clarified butter), but I will eat it if it’s already there. See, it’s FINE.

I am functional

My typical RA day is just that: fine. It’s alright, but not ideal. I am in a certain amount of pain each day but I’ve felt worse during flares. I’m taking a high dose of prednisone, but I have been on more. I am fatigued, but I am mostly capable of everyday activities.

I’m fine. I’m not even alright (which, to me feels like everything is "all right" – which it is not). I am functional. I am not terrible and I am not fabulous. I am right there in the middle.

What word do you use to describe your ‘fine’ region? Does ‘fine’ cut it or is there a different word that describes that middle ground better? Or, has it been a long time since you’ve felt fine? LMK in the comments!

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