Living with an “invisible illness,” as they call it, can be rough. People make assumptions without understanding the truth behind someone’s actions. They jump to conclusions and assume the worst. They think someone might be taking advantage of a parking space or an elevator or the disabled stall in the bathroom when the reality is that this person might need it for reasons that aren’t apparent. One woman has to deal with stares and eye-rolling when she goes out in public with this mask, and when she caught a stranger staring, she didn’t think much of it…until something amazing happened!
Every time I go out, I have to wear this mask. I have Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. (Along with a few other frustrating health issues that make outings very difficult).
Many don’t understand that the products they use can effect everyone around them. Perfume, shampoo, deodorant, lotion, hand sanitizer, clothes detergent, the cleaning products used in stores…
It makes me very sick. With that said, I have an invisible disability. I cannot work. I am very limited. Many don’t understand. I am frequently mocked, judged, misunderstood, ignored by friends and family and everyone I meet. With that said, this is what I look like when I have to go out in public.
I get some stares and occasional questioning if I’m contagious.
Well today, I was in the checkout with $35-worth of my specialty groceries, when I noticed a woman at the checkout line looking at me. I looked away because it is to be expected that someone is curious about why I look different. But this older woman looked again.
I just ignored it because I was used to it and I continued to focus on getting my money out and staying calm despite the incoming sickness from being in the store too long. I was just focusing on my items and the cash in my wallet and slow deep breaths, when next thing I know the cashier is swiping a credit card for my food. I look around confused, and walk around to the line next to mine to see the same older woman receiving her card back. Speechless, I gave her a hug. She hugged back and whispered: ‘Whatever you are going through, I hope you get well soon. God Bless.’
I wiped my eyes and walked out of the store, at a loss for words. I am stubborn and independent and I have a really hard time accepting help from people, even when I know I need it. But this woman today, everything happened so fast, and I want her to know just how grateful I am for her kind words and sweet gesture. I just can’t wrap my head around it.
And so, I’ll just have to pay it forward!
Incredible! The woman didn’t think twice about helping someone whom she didn’t fully understand. She didn’t know about this woman’s condition. She didn’t know how complicated her everyday life was. She only saw a person struggling just to get through the day, and didn’t hesitate to step in and lend a helping hand 🙂
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