10 clever comebacks for handling offensive comments about hEDS

Living with a rare disease like hEDS (Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome) can lead to misunderstandings and sometimes offensive comments from people who don’t get it. However, handling these remarks with wit and wisdom can make the situation easier and lighten the load. Here are ten clever comebacks for handling offensive comments about hEDS:

  1. “You’re just lazy.”

Comeback: “If I had a dime for every joint that dislocated today, I could hire someone to be lazy for me!”

  1. “You don’t look sick.”

Comeback: “And you don’t look like a doctor, but here we are having this conversation!”

  1. “It’s all in your head.”

Comeback: “Well, it must be a crowded place with all these symptoms and a sense of humor living in there!”

  1. “Why don’t you try exercising more?”

Comeback: “Actually, I have a strict workout routine – it’s called ‘Keeping My Joints in Place.’ Want to join?”

  1. “You should try this new miracle cure I read about!”

Comeback: “Thanks, but I prefer to follow my medical team’s advice. They have these things called degrees!”

  1. “You’re too young to have so many health issues.”

Comeback: “Well, my body didn’t get the memo, but at least it’s overachieving in something!”

  1. “You take too many medications.”

Comeback: “And you have too many opinions on something you know nothing about, but I guess we all have our quirks.”

  1. “You should just push through the pain.”

Comeback: “That’s like telling a fish to just ‘push through’ the air. Not really how it works, but nice try!”

  1. “You’re just seeking attention.”

Comeback: “If I wanted attention, I’d juggle flaming torches, not deal with a complex medical condition. But thanks for your concern!”

  1. “Why are you always so tired?”

Comeback: “I’m in a lifelong battle with gravity to keep my joints where they belong. What’s your superpower?”

These comebacks are designed to infuse humor and grace into an otherwise challenging situation. Living with hEDS is a serious and often misunderstood condition, but responding to uninformed or insensitive comments with a touch of wit can create a more open dialogue and foster understanding. And if it doesn’t, maybe consider the people you surround yourself with. Just sayin’!

Cover Image: Pixabay

Chronic Pain Partners Media Team

September 2023

5 thoughts on “10 clever comebacks for handling offensive comments about hEDS”

  1. Kristen McCown says:

    These are great!!
    Can you give a comment for “you should be wirking full time.”

  2. Serena Coils says:

    I think this can apply to any type of EDS not just HEDS, so the title should read comebacks for those with EDS

  3. E.V. Brown says:

    Even supposed humor comes off as very snarky.
    How about “I have wonky joints?”

    I find that positive answers have helped me in the 30 years I’ve known about my disorder and I usually get a positive response from people with an offer to open doors and carry packages.

  4. Mary says:

    What does someone say to a employer who calls you a burden when you need a day off because you are in so much pain?

  5. OldTexan says:

    Mary, You might ask for a Reasonable Accommodation at work, at least to get on the record that you do have an invisible disability.

    In my case I have been hospitalized when they refused to let me off and almost died, so they were worried about getting sued.

    They started to take me more seriously after that.

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