DEAR ABBY: Several years ago, I was diagnosed with a rare illness called Wegener's granulomatosis. Because of the way this illness has affected me, I have a hoarse, raspy voice and probably will the rest of my life.
The problem is, I get asked all the time by almost everybody I speak with, "What's wrong with your voice?" or, "Do you have a cold?" I'm a journalist who is on the phone constantly, so I get asked this question numerous times every day. Whenever I tell the truth (it's just the way I talk), people immediately feel bad, so I usually just lie and say, "Yes, I have a cold," or, "I have allergies."
My question is, what is the best response to give? I know people are just concerned, but I am so tired of being asked. -- JUST TIRED IN THE EAST
DEAR JUST TIRED: I see no way to prevent people who don't know you from asking the question. However, when they do, I think you should stick with the truth and allow them to own their bad feelings for having asked such a personal question.