One of the very few benefits of being disabled is the nifty blue handicapped plackard. I would trade that plackard for good health any day, let me tell you! Since I have it, I’m going to use it–without guilt.
I’m irked at times at how others react to my plackard. Not people who know me. They know how bad my arthritis is. I’m talking about peole like the woman in the store parking lot the other day. The minute she saw me put the plackard in my window, she stared. You’d think I was a suspected double agent. For some reason, she seemed to think she can pass judgement on my disability. So, she watched me until I got out of that car to “make sure” I really, really, really am disabled.
You know, what I did? I stared right back. Then I made sure I limped when I got out of the car, just to make her feel bad. Once she saw my ankle braces and surgery shoes, she looked away in embarrassment.
I need that plackard. Any time I stand in one place over 1 to 2 minutes pain seeps up through the soles of my feet into my ankles. Walking for more than 15 minutes seems like a marathon. By the time I finish whatever necessary shopping I’ve had to do, my feet feel like I’ve run them though a wringer. I may be only minimally sore when I get out of the car, but by the time I’m walking back, my feet are killing me.
How dare these people stand there with their healthier than thou attitude judging me. What do they know of another’s physical pain or infirmary? Just because a person is not in a wheelchair, on crutches, or using a walker, does not mean that they can walk without pain. So someone cheats the system every now and then. Does that give people the right to look down upon everyone using a plackard as if they need to provide a medical note to every passerby to prove their necessity?
It’s bad enough having a disability. Don’t make me feel worse by staring me down. And, don’t think you’ll get anywhere. I’ve got four older siblings. I learned how to stare back along time ago.
Next time you feel the urge to pass judgment, ask yourself “I wonder if she has a disability I can’t see?” Tell yourself “She could have cancer or fibromyalgia”. Better yet, don’t worry about it! My Mom always told me “Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, you just worry about what you’re doing (meaning that I should not worry that my brother is getting away with something that I think I should get away with!) So, take my Mom’s advice and remember that people with disabilities and illnesses don’t need the extra weight of yoursneer. Life is hard enough for them already.