Tell us about your symptoms and treatment experience. Take our survey here.

A woman wearing an oxygen mask looks at three fingers pointing at her.

A Day Out Leads to Ignorance and Rudeness

I had a doctor’s appointment; the day was lovely, with the promise of spring around the corner. I was happy to get out of the house for a few hours because it isn’t something I do every day.

Although pleasant to be out of doors, I was shocked to run into some prejudice and ignorance from others.

A day out and about after appointments

Depending on the weather, I can’t and don’t leave the house often. Sometimes when we must, we like to make a day of it.

I always try to get appointments at midday, so once done, we have some time left, and we can do some shopping or go for lunch.

On this day, , my appointment was an early one, and I saw the doctor at 11:00 am. It left us lots of time to do anything we wanted to do after.

We decided to go for lunch and then shopping. It was a restaurant that we had ordered from many times, but we had never actually visited, mainly due to Covid restrictions.

We found a parking spot very close to the entrance, so I decided to use my walker instead of my scooter. I figured I could get in and out with no problem.

It would be easier to squeeze into our allotted space with a walker since it folds compactly.

Facing judgment from others

It was just past noon, so the restaurant was busy. We had to wait to be seated. There was a line, and we were waiting among other hungry patrons.

Suddenly, the lady in front of me turned around and gave me a long look up and down. Then, she nudged her friend and nodded her head toward me.

I was standing right there watching them as they made lots of eye motions and head movements toward me.

This had never happened to me before, and I truly wondered what was going on with them. Then I realized that for someone my age, using a walker with supplemental oxygen was scary for people who were blessed enough to have never needed it.

I thought perhaps that they were past smokers and had a bit of guilt looking at what fate could have been for them.

Choosing happiness over others' ignorance

I was immediately offended because I had never experienced prejudice like this so blatantly in my face. It was certain that I wasn’t bothering them, and I felt they had no reason to make me feel so uncomfortable.

Empathy was missing, and I couldn’t figure out why.

At that moment, I had a stern talk to myself about letting others ruin the good time I was having. I  decided that their rudeness would not color my mood or how I felt.

I decided to forgive them for their ignorance, even though I knew it would make no difference to them. My husband and I had a great day of eating and shopping despite my rude neighbors.

Have you ever faced ignorance from others while out? Share them in the comments!

Editor’s Note: We are extremely saddened to say that on January 7th, 2024, Barbara Moore passed away. Barbara’s advocacy efforts and writing continue to reach many. She will be deeply missed.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The COPD.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.

Community Poll

Are you able to tell when you’re having a COPD exacerbation?