Even Our Best Efforts to Stay Healthy Sometimes Fail
No matter how hard we try to stay healthy, sometimes falling ill due to our chronic lung disease is out of our control. Since my diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) in early 2016, I have made a commitment that I would be as proactive as possible in keeping myself healthy. I rarely ask or expect others to help me with this, but last night I was reminded that even despite our best efforts; we can become ill from a situation beyond our control.
I am writing this forum post from an ER hospital bed after being rushed here this evening unexpectedly. As I was entering the grocery store, oxygen in tow, I must have missed the gentleman smoking right in front of the entrance/exit doors. As I inhaled he exhaled a puff of cigarette smoke which led to a coughing spasm for me. This isn’t the first time this has happened, but I feel just as frustrated as if it were.
People are entitled to smoke, I understand this. However, in Canada, there are laws about designated smoking areas and I wish this man had followed the law. I realize he didn’t know that I was entering the store with a chronic lung condition, but it also means he might not be aware of others with invisible lung conditions (ie. children with asthma, seniors with COPD); potentially jeopardizing their health as well. Unfortunately, I paid the price of his intentional decision not to follow the law and now I’m left pondering:
What is my responsibility or obligation to ensuring this doesn’t happen in future? No one really did anything wrong in this scenario, with the exception of the gentleman and he didn’t intend on having anything happen to me. However, I’d like to avoid this happening in the future.
How would you deal with this situation?
How do you cope with falling ill at the hands of others who might not take the precautions we need to stay healthy (ie. smoking in designated areas, or covering their cough)?
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