What do patients mean when they say they are 'fine'?

IT AMAZES and bemuses me how peoples’ assessments can be so different.

“Hello, George.”

“G’day, Doc. You’re looking fit and well today.”

Then a few minutes later:

“Hello, John.”

“Jesus, Doc, you look really tired. You okay?”

I couldn’t believe George had taken so much out of me in such a short, straightforward consult. 

I certainly felt fine and yet if I were to believe what I’m told about myself, I’d be in a real.

quandary. Am I well or not? No, no. I’m fine.

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