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I finally gave in

For all the years with spinal problems, along with shoulder and hip replacements, I did not want a handicap parking sticker.

My current doctor suggested that because of my Achilles Reconstructive surgery, that it would be a good idea to get one.
Walking is ok, but not distance.

So I got one.. But I am still so guilty using one. I will only use one when it is really necessary.

Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com


  • I got a placard 4 years ago after a disastrous run in with a buried, hidden tree root--down I went hard, straight onto my rear end, tearing a meniscus in a knee already frought with injury & surgeries. That put me on crutches which was a huge challenge for my spinal pain/spasms. I said to the lady that helped me, "I finally have to give in" when I went into the DMV for my placard.

    After the crutches were put away, so was the handicap placard. I have always believed that someone else needs that spot more than me when I'm 'only' dealing with my normal spine pain. Christmastime, no spots, etc., doesn't matter, if I CAN walk I do. Sometimes while searching for a spot (many times at a hospital) passengers will see that blue card in the car and say 'Oh, you should be using that, why do you walk when you could use that?' Its a golden ticket to some, but a precious thing to me, reserved only for the day I dread--another injury or surgery; come to think of it, I haven't used it during this post-op recovery of my intrathecal pump, but it is good to know that it's there. It's more a habit not to use it--- or am I just being stubborn?

    With any mobility issue such as yours I would definitely say you did the right thing--avoid further injury to your foot!
  • Snap!! I've got the forms from my doc sat on the side to be filled out. I've been saying that if I had one there are school functions that I could attend if I didn't have to walk on the grass verge, across the bumpy field, through the car park, up the stairs, through the other car park, past the empty disabled places & up the last stairs. I was just mentioning it & my doc was so horrified that I didn't already have one that I came home with the paperwork. I'm feeling guilty but I know it's a no brainer really. Although I know I'll never use it unless I REALLY need to (like you said "I've ONLY got spine pain"!) I feel like its finally giving in, admitting that this is completely real & I'm 'disa......'. Oh it's so hard isn't it?
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Don't feel bad!! My best friend is young and has SEVERE RSD/CRPS. She recently got one and cried and cried. She felt bad too. Truth is you all probably need them far more than some others who use them.
    C6-C7 Disc Replacement 06/16/2015
    Bulging Disc also at C5-C6
    "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
  • Thank you! Each step of this journey can be so painful in more ways than I ever imagined possible.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Ron,

    You are doing the right thing for your healing. NO ONE should be able to know even a piece of your medical history and deny you the right to use a placard. I know that you are an honest and good person, and so does everyone else here. You using the placard doesn't mean you're stealing a space from anyone else. Your recovery is that important. Your family needs you!
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
  • Having my fusion in December in Minnesota, my surgeon insisted I apply for a permit. Slipping on ice would have been bad. Remember that everyone has to apply for these, and if the state didn't feel you needed one, they would deny your application.
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    I remember a post I did years ago titled something like____and now I'm using a cane :(____

    It was as if I'm in competition with myself, like the game of golf :) trying to improve or remain status quo.

    Sometimes at the beginning, I felt like a, I don't know, like a drag on society , needing yet another form of assistance.

    I've had a placard few years now. Sometimes I use it, sometimes I don't ...if it's a good day and I am walking with more strength.
    I find it to be good like good insurance for the -__just in case moments.

    Now I consider it a part of me being a good caregiver to myself. I'm the only one on the day to day that knows how to take care of myself.
    If there is extra stress, pain or other issues that could have been prevented by shortening the walking distance, or not having an accident with ex: ice, as noted by Sarah, or I've had difficulty in the rain as the water fills the potholes that I stumble into...
    The placard has been so worth it!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • before I had a hip replacement in 2010, one rheumy I had seen off and on suggested I apply for it I got it. I hobbled before and now I hobble even worse, without groin pain. I have a cane on the floor of my back seat of car and have not used it since doing PT with hip replacement. It's there if I decide. A friend keeps telling me to use it.
    Bodywide OA, Fibro and complications from Hip Replacement.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    edited 08/02/2015 - 6:23 PM
    After both of my total hip replacements the best therapy for me after PT was walking.
    So even then I would park far away which forced me to walk. Best thing for hip replacements
    But my recent ankle surgery, I really did not have a choice. As much as I hate the handicap card I will use it until I can walk again without pain. Then out it goes
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I've had disabled plates for years and I can't believe how many times I have had people leave nasty notes on my car or even come up and question me about having them. When someone says that I don't need it, I ask them where they went to medical school. I had one guy, at the gym, question me and then he made the comment that I must be disabled in the head. I don't swear often, but he got an earful. I don't feel guilty using them, there is a reason the doctor gave them to me, (and it wasn't the first two or three times that I asked for them).
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