People making fun of how slow I walk!

Does anyone else find it very annoying when people are walking behind you and making comments about how slow you walk? People call me turtle, they say I must not be in any hurry, etc. These are my co-workers, friends. It makes me really angry-I tell them that I'm walking like that because I'm in pain. But I still get comments! Why?? Wouldn't you think that they'd know why I'm having difficulty moving around and not make some silly comment. I'm just curious if anyone else has this problem. Thanks

Not me. Someone might say that to me once, but I doubt they'd say it a second time. That's rude and mean.

Hi Carol! I have heard a lot of cruel comments.If I have learnt anything from 20 years of fibro - it is to be thick skinned. People without fibro just cannot understand what we go through. Heck! even I find it difficult to understand. !!

I generally allow the whole world to go before me. I know that the flight will not take off until I have boarded or that I can still reach the point where I go to - without being first in the race! I do not bother giving explanations or excuses to people. The way I look at it - it is my life and when I don't cry on your shoulders - you have no right to tell me how to live it.

Anger, stress etc all increases fibro symptoms - so reserve your anger for something more worthwhile. I initially used to think that people are deliberately insensitive- till I realized that most people honestly do not understand what we go through. Think of the moments when you have passed judgement on random strangers without knowing their background. Whenever I feel wronged by such comments from people - I always think about the time I used to make comments about a really really really obese woman - and the way she had to waddle and the way she looked etc - till I was told that she had some major hormonal issues that can't be treated. I felt like a heel!

It takes a while - but please tell yourself that it is your life and you are making the best of the situation! Hope this helps!

I second Lucy vanPelt's comment, all of it.

I realize that I no longer walk, I shuffle. Slowly. It's pretty sad to see a 50 year old woman walk like an 80 or 90 year old. I know that a coworker was DYING to get ahead of me in a narrow corridor but she couldn't and I couldn't do more than my shuffle. But it is what it is. I can still walk, thank heaven.

Like Lucy, when I was younger and healthier, I never thought twice about a sick person or how difficult it was for them to move. I didn't have to at that point because I had the luxury of good health and movement. It just never occurred to me to think of someone else feeling differently. In one ear and out the other. I suspect this is the case with 90 percent of people, and that's just the way it is. They aren't that way to be cruel. They just honestly DO NOT KNOW. How could you unless you had this cruel illness?

And like Lucy, I think it's best to conserve your energy for the important battles, like making sure you're getting good care and making sure you can get disability if you've applied for it. Those are great places to invest energy. Worrying about mindless comments just wastes too much of your valuable energy.

Hope that helps you a bit. I really DO understand where you're coming from.

Gentle, shuffling hugs,


Hi CarolAnn, I was just thinking about this today, as people rushed pass me at the grocery store, I was actually thinking I’m not shopping again at 4 o’clock because everyone seemed to need to run in and out…
I take notice now of the ones moving at my speed, and as for the ones that can rush in… I may think back to when I could do that, but for the most part I’m just glad I can walk, so I don’t let it bug me anymore
Hugs & blessings

Hi Carol,

I used to get frustrated when people made those kinds of comments. I have decided that I don't have the energy to spend worrying about it. I just tell them "at least I am moving" and carry on. I will get one of two responses; they will say "I'm sorry" or they will just turn and leave. Stress makes my pain worse so I have to watch things like this.


There is some horrible people in this world, I do have some comments but I give it right back, I am not one to to keep my mouth shut. ( but I am a nice person ha ) My son has special needs and it happens to him some times. It is disgusting. I hope you are OK.

I do have that problem.

It’s really annoying. And if you ever need to use a power scooter in a store you will be amazed how rude others can be. I just had foot surgery and walked slow before and when I can get out I use a scooter now and they walk out in front of me and cut me off. One time I was trying to find a scooter that was charged and a guy helped me and another lady parked a cart right in front of me blocking my way. The guy couldn’t believe it I told him you’d be surprised.

When my mom had a hard time walking she would make comments ahead of time. One thing she said was, "If you live long enough, you will walk like me!" So true, one never knows when they will be in the same situation. Ug I hate it when I am at the doctors and the assistant is miles ahead of me and asking with a smile, "So how are you today? oh, did I leave you behind??" Really?? How am I?? My great great grandfather from Ireland had a cain and would threaten to beat a person if they made any comments or got in his way. hahah,


I actually don't lift my feet anymore. I usually trip over things now because I can't lift my feet, my left especially because of peripheral neuropathy. I can't feel the dang thing!

The next time, someone says that to you, that you know, is I may be slow but I am faster than you! ;-)

I had a stranger do this once but he took it to another level. I was walking with a lot of assistance, after having been released from the hospital barely able to walk because of spasms in my back/legs. The man first made a comment and my brother in law (holding me up) politely suggested the man go around because I wasn’t well. (There was 8+ ft open sidewalk to our left) The man proceeded to full out “bump” my brother in law very hard with his shoulder as he walked by making a rude comment about our speed. I responded very uncharacteristically with a round of very loud explicatives.

I make my speed a joke with my friends and family. I figure it’s who I am and I might as well embrace it. If I can’t laugh about it I will be miserable. My kids and hubby joke when I get slower than normal in an effort to take the focus off my pain which helps. One I can laugh a little and two realize they recognize my pain increase (sometimes before I have realized just how bad I am).

I’m sorry people are rude. I’d say either go with RedWingFan or if you have to deal with them often- beat them to the punch and say something before they can
Hang in there, embrace who you are and be proud that you are above them and understand people’s daily challenges. Hugs!

I would agree that 98% of the time, I ignore it because it's not worth the anger and stress. But the other two percent of the time, I'm with Redwingfan: My default setting is "smart-mouth", as my mom would say. I'd probably act all sickeningly sweet and sarcastic and say something like, "I know, isn't it frustrating to go around slow people? I mean, some people just have the luck of the draw and never get a debilitatingly painful neuromuscular illness in their WHOLE LIVES. They can just zip around like a chipmunk and never hurt at all. Gosh, I wish I could remember what that was like." While giving them the stink-eye, of course. :)

Lucy- I would like to address your comment about the obese woman. It came across sounding as if you hadn't found out she was ill, it was then okay to say mean things. I'm really hoping you didn't mean that the way it sounded. The *reason* someone looks the way they do shouldn't make a difference in how we treat them.

Before I had Fibro, I was fat. I've been fat since puberty hit some 30-odd years ago. But before Fibro, I was healthy. I distinctly recall getting off public transit and someone rushing around me yelling, "get outa the way, fata$$!" and feeling very self-loathing the rest of the day. REGARDLESS of the fact that I was a vegetarian and had been for 2 years, went hiking every weekend, walk everywhere because I don't own a car, and had a consistently excellent blood pressure and didn't even drink sodas. It didn't matter that I could deadlift over 165# or not be out of breath on the steep hills in downtown Seattle. All that guy saw for the 5 seconds he ran by me was my weight. And yet, over 10 years later, that hurtful comment from a stranger is still with me.

But then, it's also entirely possible that the co-workers who made nasty comments about CarolAnn are just mean, hateful people and HR needs to send out a company-wide notice about hostile work environments, too. :)

You know your situation and what you need to do for yourself, so forget (or another f word) the rest of them! In Minnesota lately we have had a lot of ups and downs with the weather/temperature which really affects my pain levels and ease of movement. My own family doesn’t get why last week I might have been moving around like I didn’t have a care in the world and today is a whole different story. I just have to keep telling myself that they aren’t me, so I should let go of what they think. I know that’s hard to do, but just be strong and be yourself! You know what you need and what you can do. Stay strong!

Gentle hugs,


I feel for ya!!!! I absolutely hate it when people do that to me........ Most people do it to me when I go up and down stairs because sometimes it can take me a good 5-10 minutes. Now I just try to ignore the little laughs and jabs that people make at me because I know that they couldn't even handle the pain we all go thorugh with fibro and other illnesses. I hope that things go better for you and that people will eventually be able to understand what it's like. it's not like we enjoy having to walk with caution and walk slow!

What really bothers me is that they know I have fibro. And they know it's hard for me to move (I shuffle alot also) I guess I think that I would never make comments like that to someone if I knew they were in pain every single day. Thanks everyone for understanding. I knew you would. :)

Nobody has said anything to me like that but I'd be really hurt if they did. I'm surprised your co-workers would say that since they know you and work around you. Do you think they don't realize how much that hurts you? Maybe you could tell them? Or just tell the one that seems the most influential and he/she will tell the others to lay off. Are these co-workers young? Sometimes younger people don't sympathize as much as older folks. I hope you can talk to them and ask this question: How would YOU feel if someone made fun of you for walking slow due to severe pain? Maybe a little insight will do the trick. Maybe not. If it doesn't, you might have to learn to tune them out. Or pretend to.........often people will stop when they see they're being ignored. I hope that works. God bless (gentle hugs) : )

I thought the realized how much I hurt but maybe they don't. I've tried to explain to them that I am in pain every day-it's just some days are bad and some days are tolerable. But I guess that's hard for someone to understand if they aren't going thru it.

I have to use the handrail going both up or down the stairs! This year we moved into a new building and I had to switch from the first to the 3rd floor every hour. Teachers were told they couldn’t use the elevator! I could not make it on time to classes. The kids were always waiting for me to open the room. Of course they had just run me over on the stairs! Comments like “looks like you need onget in shape!” just killed me. I can (and do!) swim a mile every day even with fibromaylgia. I am never out of breath! I am leaner and more active than a lot of these kids. Today was my last day, I have resigned. I could have demanded and gotten all kinds of accommodations but I need to take care of me. Now I am teaching all the courses I love online from a comfy chair at a custom modified desk looking out the window at my garden and bird feeders!

I'm sorry. Geeeze, what's wrong with people? They aren't able to empathize with you...some people just can't see themselves in your shoes. It's either that or they CAN and DO understand the concept of you being in pain but simply could care less because you get in their way sometimes. That's the mark of a truly selfish, immature person. It's a touch situation because if you tell your boss to get them to stop you risk retaliation. Even so, here's what I would do. I'd go to my boss and say, "You know, some/all of my co-workers make fun of me when walking slowly. I think I'm being discriminated against due to my having a debilitating disease. I'm thinking about having a free consultation with an Attorney to see where my rights stand on this issue." Watch his/her jaw drop a few inches. hahaha. The LAST thing any employer wants to hear is the word discrimination. I'm betting that the problem will be taken care of ASAP! If your co-workers treat you worse because you told, go back to your boss and say, "Now they are treating me worse. I'll see what my Lawyer has to say about getting unemployment if I'm forced to quit due to harrassment." All of them will probably be let go before you will probably. Tenuous situation, I feel for ya.