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Parkie parking

Friends and family have encouraged me to get a handicapped parking hang-tag for quite some time, but I refused to discuss the issue. Yes, I walk slower, my gait is off, and I fatigue easily, but this doesn’t make me “handicapped,” and I certainly don’t want to plant that image in the minds of others. I strive to “blend in” with the crowd, needing to convince myself that I can still “pass” for healthy.

Jean pointed out that the handicap placard is removable and doesn’t have to be visible all the time. I can display it just when I need it, like when: the mall parking lot is icy or snow-packed, I’m carrying packages, or the closest parking space is farther than I can walk on any given day.

As logical as this argument is, I held out as long as I could, fearing that if I gave an inch to Parkinson’s, this relentlessly progressive disease would take a mile. Less than a month into winter, however, with snow already piled high and the temperatures frigid, I surrendered. I picked up the application for a handicap tag in my neurologist’s office and completed it on the spot.

Knowing my hot buttons, my neurologist assured me that my need to access handicapped parking at times did not mean I was going downhill nor “caving in” to Parkinson’s. She filled in her portion of the application and my husband got it in the mail before I could change my mind. I’m hoping that my sporty, fire engine red car will distract people enough that they won’t notice the hang-tag.


 handicapped placard

In the meantime, I am bracing for strangers telling me I don’t deserve a handicapped parking spot when l get around on my own, without even a walker or a cane to assist me. Let’s make a deal, I will offer, you hand me a cure for Parkinson’s and I will gladly park in the farthest reaches of the lot and walk to the wellness center without complaint. Until then, “talk to the hand.”



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blogger partner WPC 2016 in Portland