Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Trying to be 'normal' gets me in trouble!

Argh...What a day! I need to vent.

Other than a doctor's appt this week to revise and adjust my meds, I have been in bed for 10 days nursing a pretty bad flare up. Today, I finally felt some relief and forced myself to go get some groceries - just needed to get out of the house. By the time, I got out of bed, showered and dressed, I was regretting the decision, but pushed on (I'd come this far, right?) I pulled into the shop and parked in the handicapped spot. I have a LEGITIMATE handicap sticker for my car (and rightfully so, as many of you can attest). I spent what felt like 20 minutes staring at my cane. I didn't want to stand out today and figured I could inconspicuously lean on the shopping cart, so I left it in the car. Off I went, like a normal person, to get some food.

When I emerged from the store, still leaning on the cart for support, and started to load the bags into the truck, this woman was staring at me. Ok, more like shooting daggers at me from her eyes. I ignored her and went about my business. I returned the cart, and slowly limped back to my car (couldn't hide the pain) and gingerly got into the driver's seat. Now, she was rolling her eyes and shaking her head. I backed out of my spot, my window was open and she started yelling at me. I couldn't make out everything she was saying, but it had to do with parking in the handicapped spot that other people REALLY need. This is not the first time this has happened to me. Usually, I drive away as the tears well up in my eyes. But this time, I was livid. All the way home, I replayed the scene, I had fantasies of how I could of responded. I could have stopped the car and given her a piece of my mind. I mean, what is she, the parking gestapo?! Who was she to decide that I didn't need to park there? (But really, would that really have made any difference?!)

I am 41 years young, and I guess because I don't look the part, and because all my scars, hardware and pain are not visible to the outside world, they immediately think the worst. I wish the world could understand that I would give anything to park at the back of the lot, and skip to and from the store. I would give anything NOT to be a 40 year old trapped in what feels like a 90 year old body. Why can't people just mind their own business?? All I wanted to do was get out of my bed, out of my house, pick up some food and feel 'normal' doing it!

Whether we push ourselves to be our version of 'normal', or let the pain show - we just can't win. I don't want people's pity or their wrath, I just want to blend in like everybody else and make it through the day unscathed... Is that really so much to hope for?

PS: On a brighter note, new meds and new doses seem to be working...yippee!


  • kamgramkkamgram Posts: 483
    edited 08/25/2012 - 8:52 PM
    Marni, I totally understand the stares and even comments that people will make but after experience one time I just dont let it bother me. I have been on both sides of issue and understand why people get angry when we dont look handicapped.

    I took my mom for radiation therapy at our local hospital several yrs. ago and drove around looking for handicap space as she was in wheelchair and I had back and leg pain. I stopped behind a car who was waiting to pull in handicap space and the car pulled out of spot and other car backed into the spot and then the car window rolled down on car that pulled out of spot and she proceeded to hand the sticker to the other driver who smiled and promptly put on her mirror. I was livid.

    I started to pull away but could not. As the woman started to lock her door I rolled down my window and told her, "I don't know if you are the one who is handicap or other driver is but that is wrong and illegal for you to let someone use your sticker if they are not handicap". She just looked at me and said I don't know what you are talking about. I looked up to see a security vehicle coming and told her I was going to stop him and have him check to make sure this was handicap sticker registered to this vehicle and if she were the owner of sticker. She was livid but got back in her car removed the sticker and moved her car and we parked in that spot. I made sure she seen us going into hospital with mom in wheelchairr and me limping.

    People like that are reason we have such a hard time. I have no problem going into a store and giving them description of car along with tag number and let them know that car is parked in handicap space with no handicap sticker or tag.

  • Jerome001Jerome001 Cocoa Beach, FloridaPosts: 118
    edited 08/27/2012 - 5:12 AM
    Marni & Kamgram, I feel your pain! Literally and figuratively! LOL I have a handicap sticker too and I use it fairly offten but a lot of the time I feel like I'm some pervert doing something naughty! Like you, my issues are not readily visible but if I take off my shirt and pull down my trousers so you can see my back and front from just below the waist up to my neck, then people "get it." But, I'm not into exhibitionism so I'll stay clothed (was that a sigh of relief?). I too get annoyed when I see apparently healthy people park in a HC spot. Especially so when the driver hurries out of the car and RUNS into the store or building! I'm ashamed to say that my sister also has a HC sticker and she is probably one of the healthiest people I know but she loves the convenience and, if you ask her, she has every malady you have ever heard of! In our society, it seems we are all looking for a way to "get ahead" of everyone else and end up abusing the considerations we make for specific issues such as being handicapped. I feel really guilty most of the time, when I park in a HC spot because I can walk although more than a minute or two and I have to sit down as my lower back will be on fire by then. I'm with you on wishing I could run from the farthest parking space into the store but that train left the station many years ago.

    I appreciate you two voicing your positions, concerns, and thoughts on this topic because it really helps to know that I am not the only one grappling with these issues and concerns. Thanks a lot! Jerome
  • I totally hear you Jerome. I often feel like I'm being naughty when I use my sticker. The funny thing is, as often as I can, I try NOT to use it, and park in 'gen pop' like everyone else. But on those days when the pain is too severe, and we're already in a crap mood because of it, we don't want to add to the pain if we can avoid it, right?!

    I've also been on the other side of the arguement. On really bad days, when I encounter someone, without a sticker, who parking in the handicap spot, I remind them that people like me actually need to use it. 9 times out of 10, they brush me off and say, they're just running into the store and will only be a minute. So, I block them in! (Clearly, I have some rage issues :-)

    So amazing to talk to people who truly get where I'm coming from, have lived in my shoes (ok, similar shoes) and don't think I'm petty for venting about the incident that began this thread. Thanks for being there! Marni
Sign In or Register to comment.