Thursday, January 17, 2013

Judging Handicap Parking

I wrote this article in my local newspaper last month. Thought I would share as some can relate. This is an exact cut and paste as to what I wrote.

"Not all disabilities are visible. People please have some respect for us disabled people. I myself am 40, and disabled or sick as some put it. I do not use a wheel chair but rarely a cane. I have had numerous surgeries for a chronic disabling condition. I have a handicap parking certificate placed on my dash and visible. I cant count how many times I have parked at a handicap spot and heard the sneers and snickers of hey that person is not in a wheel chair. Disability Parking certificates are given through the MTO written by a doctor. I have a valid reason for using it and parking where I do. For reasons due to my health and out of my control sometimes I need a fast exit to sit alone or hide from the public. The less far I have to get to my vehicle the better. I also have issues with one of my legs. Walking is short lived. Both of those health concerns grants me that parking certificate. Which myself, my doctor and the MTO has agreed to let me use. About a week ago I parked at a Tim Hortins in the handicap spot. My phone rang and it was a private call so I spoke on the phone while in the car. 2 ladies were staring and pointing at me. It was obvious. I finished the call, and went it. If looks could kill these 2 ladies gave me the evil eye. As the line was long I had to go to the back where they were seated. As I turned around to stand in line, the staples in my head were in plane site to view. I was close enough to hear the one lady say to the other...."Look at his head" "OMG" and the other said, "Don’t judge someone" Which is my point. You do not know what a person is dealing with. Parkinson’s, ALS, Cancer, CH, whatever it is. Not all disabilities are visible. Some not all assume since we are well enough to drive, walk a short distance that were are ok. And I don’t always park in handicap neither. Because these spaces are widest its good for someone in a wheel chair to have that spot and I make my best foot forward to park and leave that open. However there are days getting out of the house is a treat. Getting a cup of Joe, being in public and being able to have some normalcy in my life to try to function like a normal person makes me feel human. So please don’t snicker and comment, he doesn’t look sick. I wish I wasn’t. I wish I wasn’t sick and could park at the very back and walk in like I used to in fear of door dents. Id give anything not to be sick. In case your wondering, yes I am 100% fine to drive. Please, have some courtesy and respect. As well don’t park in handicap spots if you don’t have a tag either. It’s a $400+ fine. Please don’t judge me because I am young and have a nice car, you don’t know my situation or how I got where I am today. Show some compassion to me and others. Thank you and God Bless"

1 comment:

  1. Hi. I have had epilepsy for 44 years. 5+ years ago I suffered multiple mini-strokes. I believe they occurred due to a change in seizure meds. That is when my migraine/cluster/suicide HAS started. When people tell me 'you don't look handy capped' I just say 'thank you' I fight hard to hold back my tears. I live in a dark room to help minimize the clusters. My Nerve Stimulator wraps around the VAGAL Nerve. This helps to reduce seizures, but so far, not the suicide headaches. I will be praying for you Tom, and your son. God Bless.