Like most people with chronic illness I get asked 'how are you today?'... a lot. On many days the truthful answer would be 'I feel shit, thanks for asking', but I mostly settle on one of the many euphemisms I have collected over the years.
These range from the very Irish and clearly untrue 'ah sure I'm grand' to the more English stiff upper lip 'mustn't grumble' taking in 'not quite up to the mark' 'a little peaky' and 'can't complain' along the way.
What's your brave face answer to this question when you don't want to say 'bloody awful' again?
I used to be a smiley person but years of chronic pain and its sidekicks depression and fatigue have taking its toll on my smile reflex.
I find it quite an effort to smile at times so I borrowed this smile from a magazine, took a photo of myself with my ipad and so my 'sick selfie' series was born.
I was delighted when this image won an award in the Irish Times photography competition in November 2013