I’ve had a really hard day, my joints ache, I’m tired and my headaches. But, I have to go to the grocery store to get something for dinner or lunch for the next day. Yes- I have a job and work full-time.
I pull into the parking lot, park and throw my handicap sign in the window. I get out, in a daze, minding my own business when an old man parked next to me says, “Hey, you’re supposed to have the handicap person with you when you park there.”
I’m instantly furious. I am the handicap person- asshole! I may be younger than him, I might look healthy – he doesn’t know I have an “invisible disease!” Heck, for all he knows, I might even be the next generation-looking of zombies and he shouldn’t even mess with me.
I walked up to the frail, cane-walking man; got a little too close for even my comfort. I looked him straight in the eyes and told him that you don’t have to be old or fat to be handicap. You don’t have to be in a wheelchair or using crutches. I continued to tell him to mind his own business and if he ever questioned someone’s need for a handicap sticker maybe he should think twice. Doctor’s don’t just give these things away for no reason. Then, I turned and walked as straight as I could, without limping or cringing to hold back the tears from the pain of each step.
This isn’t an isolated occurrence, unfortunately. It happens all the time. Sometimes when I’m parking, I get “the look” from someone parked next to me. Or, I get the “you’ve got to be kidding me” comment as they pass me when I’m getting out of the car. WHY?
Lupus is an untreatable condition (managed by medication) where the body attacks a person’s organs and/or joints instead of fighting off a cold or infections. It’s an immune deficiency disorder that can be life threatening and always unpredictable. It’s a nightmare playing around in every atom of the person’s body. So days, a lupus patient feels great. The next, maybe not so great and then the next could possibly be the worst day of their life. It causes extreme fatigue that can last days, weeks, months or more. It can cause vision problems, concentration issues, memory lapses, hot flashes and more. In my case, my lupus is linked to other conditions, making it worse at times.
For whatever the ailment, handicap parking is not a privilege or something people get just because they are lazy – it’s because walking and mobility is a problem. Sure, I could get a cane, walker or a scooter – but I’m too young for that. I’m trying to hang on to the mobility I have- at least for now. So don’t judge me!
Being old doesn’t give you the right to be rude! So, please think before opening your mouth – old man.
Invisible illnesses suck for a lack of a better word lol…
I also have lupus and a host of other illnesses and I get the look all the time ..oh nothing wrong with you …I do not have my sticker just yet I am trying to wait as long as I can but I know it is coming : (
mean people suck ….they love to judge don’t they??!!
Hang in there..
Thank you Suzette- good luck to you too!
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…wondering why you felt it necessary to call this gentleman an “asshole?”…a simple explanation concerning your illness would have sufficed greatly, a learning experience……I am disabled as well and without a doubt have had a myriad of experiences which would sicken and upset quite a few but I have come to the conclusion that everyone around is not aware of my situation…….we work, or at least I do, every day attenuating to make individuals more aware of our daily struggles-parking being a major issue so when someone sticks up for us-KUDOS..- but calling someone who is trying to police our areas bu asking very simple questions is by no means an asshole First thing I would have done is shake this mans hand…is not the issue we want more aware of the struggles we endure?….revering to a knowledge seeker as an asshole will certainly NOT advance our cause…….
Steve, I’m sorry you don’t approve of how I handled the handicap spot situation. In hindsight, I agree with you- there was a better way to handle the situation. But, I should’t have to take time to “educate” rude people. When you’re in pain and having a hard time to just getting through the day, I sometimes find myself snappy and not able to rationalize thoughts or be patient with others. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment on my article. Difference of opinions and the handling of situations is what makes the world go round, huh? Thank you for putting the situation back in place for me. I really do appreciate it.