For many years, I struggled with asking my physician to approve a request for disabled parking. Part of this reflected my ongoing denial about the severity of my persistent symptoms.
In addition, I knew that I didn’t have any overtly visible signs of being impaired. I questioned how others might respond to seeing an able-bodied woman step out of a car, her blue disability placard clearly visible.
As it turns out, those concerns were entirely justified. More than once, total strangers have made nasty comments about why I have the audacity to use a disabled parking spot. After all, there are people who really need to use those spots!
I happen to be one of those people, for many reasons. Debilitating fatigue, weakness, and spasticity deeply affect my functional capacity. Periods of feeling increasingly short of breath, with minimal exertion, deeply impact my ability to walk even short distances.
Why not take advantage of an established opportunity to make my already challenging life just a little bit easier? In the past, I chose to respond to others’ insulting comments when I stepped out of the car, taking up one of those very limited disabled parking spots. I no longer waste my precious energy on doing so.