Why is that lady wearing a mask?

Me wearing my mask.

I have watched as little children innocently ask their mothers this very question. The answers vary from a mother suddenly noticing that I have a mask on and answering I don’t know to a mother replying maybe she is sick and doesn’t want to get us sick. My chemical sensitivities are such that to be able to go into the grocery store for a short period I must wear a charcoal mask to lessen the severity of what I breathe in and lessen my reactions to those chemicals. I have had people see me and suddenly veer off in a different direction for fear that I could spread some dreaded disease to them when in fact they are the ones I am protecting myself from (the cologne, laundry soaps, fabric softeners, etc.). When I was in Dallas in 2003 a friend and I who also wears a mask had made an excursion to  window shop at a store we had seen that had very nice clothes in the window.  We decided to stop because she wanted to see if she thought she could tolerate the clothes or if the store would be too fragrant for her to be able to get the smells out of the clothes.  I write about this in my book. 

By this time Lisa had begun gaining weight and needed clothes.  We had driven by this store that featured clothes in the window that she thought might be safe for her.  We decided to stop by there one morning.  So here we were both in our masks knocking on the door to get the clerk’s attention.  We finally got her attention and asked her to come to the door.  We wanted to ask her if she would be willing to bring something out for us to look at.  She cautiously opened the door; the whole time she kept looking at us in our masks and back to her register.  I think she thought for sure that we were going to rob her.  When we explained why we wearing the masks, she was very accommodating.  There was also a time when we were standing outside another store waiting for a clerk to bring something out and a man approached us and asked why we were wearing masks.  We tried to explain it to him.  So, he said you are allergic to perfume and we just said yes.  As he walked away he asked if we were sisters because we both had on masks.  That generated a good laugh by both of us.

The mask presents many issues.  In winter it causes my glasses to fog up.  In warm weather the heat from wearing the mask is so stifling that I feel as if I could pass out. 

8 responses to “Why is that lady wearing a mask?

  1. Thank you for sharing your story. I, too, am extremely self-conscious when I am wearing my mask. I’m aware that people think it means I’m communicable or crazy. I have long wished for a universal symbol I can put on my mask, something that stands for, “Your chemicals are making me sick.” You might like my blog, which you can read at http://www.jenniferlunden.com/.

  2. Reblogged this on allergictolifemybattle and commented:

    For those new to this site, this is one of my early posts and you can see me with my mask on.

  3. I have never found a mask that works for me— did you make yours– or found it & able to purchase it?? I have tried many many different kinds & none of them work for me!!! I’m glad you have found something that works for you!!! May I reblog again????? Thank you!!!! Hey– Girl– are you feeling better also??????????????

  4. The mask I use is the “I Can Breathe” mask. Sometimes depending what situation I might be going into, I had an extra charcoal filter to it. Yes, you may reblog this.

    And thank you for asking. I am feeling better. Still on the antibiotics for a few more days and lots of probiotics as well as my antifungal. I saw my acupuncturist/osteophath today which always helps.

    Right now I am just finishing up cooking a pot of vegetarian chili. My younger daughter is a vegetarian which presents challenges at my house but we make it work. I have made this recipe before and found it in a 2010 issue of the Paula Deen Magazine. I am going to head back into the kitchen and mix her up some muffins to go with it.

    • I was vegetarian for years– & years & years– but now we are Pescatarian– as since we moved to the Ozarks– Gary loves to trout fish– & we live right on Lake Taneycomo– a COLD water lake– & so in the past 5 years my body has allowed me to eat some fish now!! So here fishy –fishy!! 🙂 I’m glad you are feeling better!!!!!!!!! Enjoy your visit with your family!!! later–

  5. Pingback: Why is that lady wearing a mask? | sondasmcschatter

  6. Pingback: Beauty of a Woman BlogFest 2014 | allergictolifemybattle

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