a woman peers over her sunglasses and sneers

Getting the Look

Getting the look sounds kind of sexy. It just makes me want to flick my hair back. I would do that except my hair is too short to flick. Imagine the headache. Maybe even whiplash!

Yes, I have a hose in my nose

Ah, now I understand which look. Wouldn’t it be fun to respond with these made-up excuses? Yes, I have a hose in my nose, I’m an astronaut that’s hooked up to a space station. Of course I’m parked in handicapped parking. If you watch me long enough, I’ll start walking, then coughing, and maybe even wet my pants.

That's my car in handicapped parking. I just wanted to know if anybody cares if I park there. Please, I would appreciate using the riding cart in this store. I want to practice for the shopping cart races next month, and I need to practice sharp curves.

Wow, I showered, now I feel wiped out. Sure, I’d like to hear what you think, I’m taking a poll to see what you really think. It’s time to lay down and rest for a bit. I so appreciate your advice to do more and work more to build stamina instead of being lazy.

I’m so skinny, if I ate more, I’d quit looking like a twig! I’m starving myself intentionally, I’m trying to win a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records (actually, I do need to lose weight). You probably think I would be healthier if I would quit taking all of those medications. Gee, think of all of the money I would save!

It isn't right

It isn’t right how people treat those with COPD or other chronic illnesses. Sometimes we know how crude it can be. It may even seem verbally abusive. Does this person know what he/she is doing? That it is so hurtful? Are they enjoying the pained look that periodically covers our faces? The look?

We can sometimes hear the look over the telephone or internet. Actually, we can sense a lot of distorted things when reading posts or messages. Reading some that others sent to me can make me feel like I am getting a look of disdain.

You see, it’s impossible to know what is real or true over the internet, so a person can infer about anything from what is typed. We really can't see the emotions that anyone is going through just by reading a post.

Yes, in-person we can see the look. Others can too. The look and the comments can make a person feel horrible. We can feel dirty, worthless, or any other sad word. They can make a person feel angry.

Be proud of who you are

I can put a smile on my face as they see me get out of my vehicle and walk into the store, struggling to walk. Maybe they will see me go up a flight of stairs. I didn’t think to use my inhaler before I took that first step so they will know that I really do get short of breath. They might possibly see the cold air take my breath away, even though there is a scarf covering my face.

Be proud of who you are. Know that your struggles are difficult but that you’re doing the best you can. You are winning every day because you have a life to live and you are doing it. It may be a struggle, but you are doing it!

Try to find humor in what you can, it sure makes the day much happier and healthier. You can’t make your COPD go away. So like the skin that you're in, feel good about that hose to your nose, and know that you are uniquely you.

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