Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Disabled? Handicapped? Mixed Emotions...

So, last Thursday, I finally gave in and gave my doctor my application for a handicap placard. She happily completed her portion of the form on the spot, and I took the form to my local DMV the next day and got my placard. I have friends and family who have been pushing me to get one for quite awhile, because I get so fatigued from walking and it increases my chronic leg and foot pain. I had (and have) mixed emotions about this major step in my journey. As a social worker, I am well aware of the vast spectrum of disabilities and limited resources. So, in my mind, there are a limited number of handicapped parking spots, so who am I to park in one of those spots when there is potentially someone more disabled than I, someone more "worthy" than I of having that spot? What about people who are actually in wheelchairs and they need the extra space that handicapped parking provides? 

On the other hand, I know how tired am as the day goes on. No. Correction: I know how exhausted I am as the day goes on. I know when I have to go to the mall to run an errand, one of the first things I think of is how hard it's going to be to find a parking spot and how I'll feel completely done before I even make it into the mall entrance, let alone how I'll feel by the time I get to the store I need to go to, and then how I'll be when I get back to the car. I also know that a simple trip to Target or other big department stores also leaves me tired and in significant pain. But ultimately, I know that I need to take care of myself or I won't be able to take care of anyone else. I need to preserve what energy I have for the things that matter most. And, I need to take advantage of every opportunity and short-cut I can take to get the most out of my days because I know that more often than not, it takes all that I have to make it through an average day. 

I've just recently began blogging about my journey with chronic pain. You can read more about my journey here. 

If you are eligible for a handicapped placard, you can get the form online by going to the DMV website for your state.