It has been 17 months since my 3 level spinal fusion and I have always had discomfort driving or going long distances with cart/packages, but never asked to apply for a placard because I don't want to be considered handicapped. Meaning, I want my health back if possible but I have been having issues. I also don't want strangers to harass me for looking too healthy to be having a handicapped placard. It is my understanding though if your disability impairs your driving you may be uninsurable and I wouldn't want that to happen!
I tapped a parked car yesterday in a crowded dark parking garage because it hurt to turn my head and drive backward slowly for so long. It hurts to switch to left and right quickly also. I left no damage but a witness saw it happen and knows the owner of the car so she reported it. The bumper has all kinds of previous scratches and now it looks like I will be paying about a $1,000 to repaint the entire bumper!! I didn't make a mark!! I go extremely slow back because of my fusion and pain. When you gently tap a car it leaves no mark. God knows what is true.
This happened where I will be having a new job and I will continually have to deal with this tight, dark, parking garage with my pain in my neck and fusion. In Pennsylvania the only qualifiers I come close to are, "Does not have full use of an arm or both arms." I have lost a lot of range of motion in my right arm that I'm working through PT to get back. The other criteria, "Severely limited in his ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological or orthopedic condition." I'm 42 and look perfectly healthy to an outsider. It's not so much walking as my neck hurting to turn while simultaneously moving the car. I may have to walk 5 or 6 flights down the parking garage which does hurt my neck a lot, though or be forced to use the parking garage elevator at night alone. Many of the spaces there would be safer if you backed into them which would be painful and difficult for me to do safely and I risk tapping another car!! I think I would worry what people think of me if they saw a placard on my car (that I'm taking advantage somehow), but it would really help me, especially in the situations I mentioned. I know this doesn't count but I have terrible anxiety winding up a tight parking garage that I will be in another car accident. I have disc herniations above and below my fusions that could get worse at any time.
Anyone have a 3 level cervical fusion and a handicapped placard over a year since their surgery? Does my situation qualify?