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  • Feeling Rushed By Others as a Patient with PF

    Posted by charlene-marshall on January 8, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    Back in August of 2017 I wrote a Pulmonary Fibrosis News column about feeling rushed in a grocery store from someone behind me, while trying to navigate my purchases and my supplemental oxygen. I wrote about how hurtful this experience was for me, and admittedly; that I didn’t know how to address the woman who was rushing me despite seeing my oxygen. As a result, I didn’t say anything and worried after that experience that she would do the same to another person in future who was using supplemental oxygen or requiring some other type of disability support.

    It has been awhile since I experienced this again, thankfully, but unfortunately it just happened on the weekend and similarly, I wasn’t quite sure how to respond to being rushed. This was not only frustrating for me, but it made me sad as well as it highlighted just how much I’ve lost in terms of no longer being able to move at a pace similar to the rest of the world.

    I am convinced that inevitably this will happen again and thus, I wanted to ask how others might deal with this scenario if it happened to them. Have you ever experienced being rushed by someone, despite having your oxygen/disability devices visible?  If so, how did you handle it or did you address it? 


    charlene-marshall replied 4 years, 8 months ago 5 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • kevin-peace

    January 11, 2019 at 10:41 am

    This just happened to me the other day. I responded by saying my reason for moving  slowly is because I have a condition that is slowly killing me. What’s your reason for having a total lack of compassion for people less fortunate than you.

    • bill-hunt

      January 11, 2019 at 11:17 am

      Rushing to get dressed or undressed causes  my o2 level to drop.  The calisthenics of those movements is what causes my problem.  I am learning though.  Waiting in line like you wrote does not seem to be a problem for me.  I am fortunate so far.  I enjoy your posts and print a lot of them.  Thank you!

      • charlene-marshall

        January 12, 2019 at 9:33 am

        Thanks for sharing Bill! It sure is an ongoing learning curve of how to manage this disease isn’t it? Glad you continue to do as well as possible, and thanks for the brief update on how you’re doing – I always enjoy hearing from you 🙂

        Enjoy your weekend,

    • charlene-marshall

      January 12, 2019 at 9:26 am

      Hi Kevin,

      Thanks so much for replying to this thread! While I didn’t want to believe others had a similar experience as I did, but I unfortunately knew there would be other people who could relate. It was an awful experience for me, and I hope you’re doing okay after it happening to you too. Did the person respond with compassion after you called him/her out on not having any? I sure hope so and good for you … I couldn’t find the words in the moment, but I wish I would have said something like this. Thanks for making me feel less alone by sharing your story, although I wish you hadn’t of experienced this as well.


      Warm regards,

  • patsyarchibald

    January 11, 2019 at 10:57 am

    Hi Charlene,

    When I read this, I started tearing up because I can really relate to this experience. It’s one of the downfalls of having a disability that isn’t evident though many of us use supplemental O2.

    Going to the grocery store some days takes a lot of effort. It’s an activity that I sometimes look forward to because it gets me out of the house and, for the most part, gives me a sense of accomplishment that I have engaged in some of the exercise we so desperately need. Other days, it is indeed a chore. On those days, I can feel my energy waining. By the time I get to the cashier, I’m sweating and ticking up my supplemental O2 a notch or two just to finish with this task and get back to my car so I can recover a bit. I have encountered feeling rushed many times by not only other customers who are behind me in line but by the cashiers! My first response is to smile, make eye contact and engage in friendly banter so they “see” me. It helps a little but not always. Part of my effort to help them understand my limitations is to request my bags be as light as possible as I’m just not as strong as they are. At that point, they often make those small adjustments that help.

    On a brighter note, I’ve found a grocery store with cashiers who, as soon as I enter their station, greet me with a friendly smile and reassure me that they will make sure I won’t be rushed. Kindness is still alive and well. Obviously, that’s where I shop the most now!

    Thanks for this forum. It gives me hope and a place to not feel alone with some of these issues we face.

    Patsy Archibald



    • charlene-marshall

      January 12, 2019 at 9:30 am

      Hi Patsy,

      Thank you so much for connecting and sharing your experience with this topic, although I am so sorry to hear you can relate. I absolutely agree about it being one of the hardest parts of living with an “invisible illness”, even though, as you say, many of us use supplemental oxygen. I was so hurt when I experienced this, and a bit shocked so I didn’t even reply to the woman, although I really wished I had so that she could be aware next time of how her actions could potentially hurt someone else.

      Getting groceries isn’t easy, I agree with you there but I also understand the sense of accomplishment that it brings. Your sharing that really resonated with me, as I feel the same way. I am glad to hear that the cashiers attempt to make adjustments, and help you after you request certain things (ie. lighter bags). Do they ever offer to get them out to the car for you? I know some stores do here whereas others don’t.

      On a more positive note, I am thrilled to hear of the store with the kind and compassionate cashiers. That restores some of my faith in humanity, and am glad you experience this with shopping at their store regularly. This is wonderful!

      Really glad you’re part of our forums Patsy, feel free to reach out anytime – we’re all here for you!


  • chuck-harrison

    January 13, 2019 at 1:31 am

    I have held off with my answer ,to be honest I’ve chosen during this trial in my life to be as polite as my nature will allow me . Let me explain, at one point in my life I could be a smart ass , in fact I was very good at it , kinda like a don rickles . Um you could say you never knew what was going to come out of my mouth at any situation .

    that being written , that is not me anymore , a while back  before ipf I didn’t want to be chuck anymore so I changed , it was hard because there are those out there that need a good tongue lashing . To be sure I have comments thrown at me , sighs , throat clearing , and the all intimidating looks lol , I laugh because I’m very hard to intimidate . So I politely say sorry , excuse me , do you mind , am I holding you up , or I see you have more than me go ahead please . You have a choice with me , and I will make that choice for you . I don’t feel the need to let them know what’s wrong with me . If the 02 tank and scooter is not a big enough hint I have a health problem , then the real problem comes down to the other person . So  I’ll continue to be courtiess , and take my time and not be rushed , besides we have other worries , don’t we ?

    As always Charlene your very good friend ,

    Chuck ,

    Ps , trying to load another profile picture , but can’t remember how lol , also I have messenger

    • charlene-marshall

      January 14, 2019 at 8:34 am

      Hi Chuck,

      Thanks for writing and submitting your thoughts on this topic – it can be a tough one, I agree!

      I sound like the “old you” you referenced in your post, sometimes I can be a smart ass too but not usually towards anyone and never in a malicious way. I guess I could be considered a sarcastic smart ass? I love to laugh! I’m glad you address the looks, comments, eye-rolls, etc. head on. That is really important to inform people that their behaviours are not acceptable. Good for you to continue doing what you need to, and you’re absolutely right – we do have other issues to content with, absolutely!

      Take care and as always, it’s lovely to hear from you!

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