Saturday, October 4, 2008

Handicapped Parking Spots

Sometimes, people, myself included, just do not think.

I want you to take a moment and close your eyes and picture a handicapped person. What do you see?

My car, sadly, sports a handicapped license plate. I park in the handicapped parking spot at work and other places. Several weeks ago a lady came back and told another employee that she wanted to lodge a complaint--an employee was parked in a handicapped parking spot.

It apparently never occurred to this woman that handicapped people have limitations and are productive, contributing citizens.

As the conversation ensued this woman expressed that surely I could not have any handicapping conditions as I was gainfully employed and did not use a wheelchair.

People, not all conditions that limit mobility are visible.

You can not see into my spinal column and see the bone spurs that are prying my vertebrae apart and at times cause nerves to be pinched thus causing excruciating pain that can and does bring me to my knees. There are times the pain is bad enough I faint.

You can not see the spinal stenosis that is causing my bony spinal column to close in around the nerves of my spinal column and that movement, such as walking, can cause the nerves to rub against those bones. Again, this is extremely painful.

You can not see the rheumatoid arthritis in my hips, knees and other joints that has been damaging these joints since I was nine (9) years old. You can not see the pain that causes me.

You can not see the rheumatism in my lungs that makes breathing difficult.

Then there was my Daddy. He had gout in the soles of his feet. It looked like someone had implanted golf balls in them. I could see the pain on his face as he would walk the shorter distances from the handicapped parking spots to the door.

I also saw the tears as people yelled at him for being lazy and taking a spot he did not deserve.

No one could see the enlarged heart beating in his chest overworked by the exercise of walking those few feet.

I continue to work because I refuse not to. My Daddy continued to go to the store whenever he had a good day.

Think before you judge someone.

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