Peter health condition sometimes good sometimes bad

Is sometimes good sometimes bad a valid usage? Are there better words/phrases for that?


A couple of phrases commonly in use in British English are:

  • Up and down (meaning in state of fluctuation)
  • Touch and go (meaning in a delicate, or precarious state)


"His health is up and down".
"It's touch-and-go with him".

Note that the latter is normally used to describe more serious health conditions. Also these expressions may be not be used the same way in American English.

Words that may be useful:

  • delicate
  • unsure
  • fluctuating
  • varying

Although these may only really be useful in creative writing, perhaps not in everyday speech to describe a health condition.

The most likely way I would expect this situation to be described is:

Peter has good days and bad days with his health.

  • Peter's health is like the weather – it's always changing. (I like your options better, but thought I'd add that one as a more humorous way to describe the situation. Chances are, though, you probably don't want to be joking about someone's health unless you know them very well and think they might benefit from a less serious wording.)
    – J.R.
    Jun 8 '18 at 10:13

Already upvoted Astralbee's answer because as a physician, I had used 'up and down' very frequently.

Your mother suffers from diabetes and acute renal failure, so her health will be up and down.

But, I won't deny the use of a word fluctuation for the same reason.

Peter [sic] health keeps on fluctuating (does not remain stable, keeps changing)

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