Handicap Placard Dilemma...

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by RedHeadEMT, Dec 9, 2006.

  1. RedHeadEMT

    RedHeadEMT New Member

    Yes, I am young. I LOOK healthy. Shoot, besides the slight limp and shuffle, I look like the average mid-twentysomething girl.

    With FMS, Reflex Sympathetic Distrophy, and serious back/neck spinal issues.

    So, I'm just curious if anyone else who has a handicap placard gets THE stares...you know, the ones where old ladies (who can probably walk, or even run, circles around me), soccer moms, and young children gawk at you with disgust in their eyes because they are SURE that you are stealing your grandma's placard and using it so you can part closer to the mall...

    Or maybe I am the only 25 year old who has a handicap placard?

    Either way, even if I am the only SUPER young'un with a placard, I'm sure there are youngish women and men who also have a placard; do you ever get THE stares?

    Or is it just me?


    Curious in Cali,

    K
  2. 143alan

    143alan New Member

    I'm mid-40s but I still get the stares too. Heck, I still have stupid co-workers who make comments like "You're too young to know you have a back".

    Since my neurosurgeon is operating on said back tomorrow morning I sure hope he knows I have one...LOL.

    Good luck!
  3. I am always so self conscious to use it and don't if I feel up to walking. Mine expires in Jan and I am always so afraid to ask for it renewed as my rheum. said fibro people don't really qualify. DUH! (but I got mine after knee surgery)
  4. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    Hi,
    I've had a plackard since I looked a lot younger, and I used to get looks, and people would even outright question me.

    Then, one year I forgot to renew my plackard and found myself slapped with a hefty ticket. The fine was eventually reduced, but I decided then and there to get a handicap licence plate. And you know what? I haven't been questioned since.

    It seems that people tend to think that the plackard is temporary , or easily gotten, (even though one may have a permant one) and that the licence plate is permanent, and harder to get.

    It is annoying, isn't it? Maybe a licence plate would help. Here, in California, they don't cost anything extra. the annual car registration is all one has to pay. There are no exra charges.

    Good luck,
    Terry
  5. RedHeadEMT

    RedHeadEMT New Member

    I really appreciate your words; you are so funny! But, seriously, what you say is so true: they need to NOT stare. It's not me who needs to worry about their need to stare.

    xoxo

    K
  6. natrlvr2

    natrlvr2 New Member

    For everyone that has these,do you have a cane or an assistive device?I have been wanting to get one of these for yrs. but I do not need a cane...yet.I do not always have bad days, but there are days when I am really in rough shape (but since I am single,I have to go out).I would not abuse it,only use it on these bad days.
    My one Dr. said 'no,you have to be bedridden'-well if I was bedridden,I would not be going places(DUH!).I am considering asking my rheumy,but am almost afraid to. What do you think?
  7. mary124

    mary124 New Member

    I'm 46-I have either had a temp or perm. one for the last few years. (my pain management doctor gave me one). Yes I get stares all the time, because to other people, there is nothing wrong with me! But lets see, I have a fractured hip, IC, bad back, I can go on and on. Just every day chronic pain. There are days that I don't use it, but it is there just in case.
  8. krchamp

    krchamp New Member

    I am 33 and I get stares everytime I get out of the car. They look at me and then glance around to the elderly people looking for a parking space and I can see the disgust and judgement on their faces.

    When I can I don't park in these spaces and walk but most times I park in them and just endure the stares. Here lately though I have gotten really aggrevated and looked at the and said, "What do you have something you want to say to me?" Probably not a good approach but it gets old after a while.

    Kristi
  9. tonia1990

    tonia1990 New Member

    Ihave been a member awhile but idont get to post alot due too pain i cant sit at computer very long.But i wanted to let you know i have a card too.Ive had one since i was22 and im 32 now.I always get people staring at me but i try and not let it bother me.If i didnt need one i wouldnt have one right.If they ever did say something to me im not shy i would tell them.
  10. penstemon

    penstemon New Member

    I've had a handicap license plate for quite a few years. I used to get more stares before I started using a cane. On good days I don't always use the cane though. I get more stares when I first start out, before I get so tired. But by the time I come out of a place, and can barely shuffle as far as the car, then people seem much more accepting.
    I admit, I sometimes give the stare to those who look healthy who park in the handicap space without any placard. It makes life much harder when people park "just for a moment" in the handicap spaces so that I have to park far away. On bad days, I have to keep circling until a space comes open, because I can't walk very far.
  11. bozey

    bozey New Member

    I just posted on the chitchat board that when they stare, just say, You staring at me won't make my disability go away!

    bozey
  12. California31

    California31 New Member

    I was confronted one time in Santa Fe...basically told the party...that it wasn't my job to educate her...but did let her know that friends who were dialysis patients in Seattle...who looked "fine" had been hasseled...and that quite frankly there are a number of people on the planet with invisible conditions....
    As I see it...and there's actually no need to be defensive...nor does anyone with a placard need to justify....what their condition is...
    If anyone in authority asks to see your certificate (which should be carried at all times...) show them the certificate...I saw a police officer...really laying into an elderly women...when she didn't have her certificate...she didn't realize she needed to have it with her...I was nearby and explained to her....that it was necessary to carry it. He gave her a ticket... I've made sure my mother never leaves home....without her certificate (receipt, if you will)that she now carries in her wallet.
    [This Message was Edited on 12/12/2006]
  13. RedHeadEMT

    RedHeadEMT New Member

    I really appreciate everyone sharing their experiences; this way, I don't feel so alone in my dilemma...

    Natrlvr, I do not have any assisted devices; some days, once in a GREAT while, I will use my wheelchair, but I try to stay away from it. Unless my husband comes with me, and I really CANNOT walk, but really NEED to be somewhere, I will take it along, but it's so hard to lift it out of the trunk. If I'm having such a hard time walking that I need a wheelchair, it's probably not the best time to be out walking anyways!

    My pain doc is incredible; he gave me a permanent placard when I asked him for one, on the very first try. He is very understanding and well versed on all things FMSish, pain related. I was so excited to get the placard, but also kind of sad because he didn't give me a temporary one...I guess that just reaffirmed that is probably something that I will have to deal with until the day I die.... sigh...

    Well, thanks, again ladies (and gents, if any of you replied, as well)!!!

    PLACARD POWER! :eek:)

    K
  14. lbuchanan3

    lbuchanan3 New Member

    Don't worry, everyone gets those stares unless they are in a wheelchair or using a walker, then they get the averted eyes or they are invisible to people.

    My mom has to use a wheelchair when we go out anywhere and people won't talk directly to her. They ask me where she would be most comfortable, or tell me that her bill comes to $12.00 and basically treat her like a child.

    I don't know what it is with people, but let them judge, and you can have fun making up stories in your head about them pursing their lips and wagging there fingers.
  15. Gothbubbles

    Gothbubbles New Member

    Just got my permanant placard. I don't drive, but tht doesn't make parking far away any easier for me when I get rides from my friends and family.

    I like the suggestion to say to starers that "staring at me won't make my disability go away"

    I've opened up conversations with people (not about placard, but about other stuff like my handicapped bus permit) most are ignorant, but when caught become curious if you're not belligerant to them.

    I like to think of it as an opportunity to teach new people so eventually our culture will move beyond it's judgement of ill people.

    CFS 6 1/2 years --- 25 years old
  16. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    Hi,
    I know what you mean. I used to get those stares, and even outright questions. This is what I did:

    One day I returned to my car to find a whopping big ticket for having a handicap sticker that had not been renewed. I had forgotten all about it, and the reminder had not reched me. Later the fine was reduced, but I didn't want to go through that again, so I got the licence plate. It doesn't cost anything, exra, and no one has questioned me since. It seems that people have a diferent attitude towards the licence plate- as if it is more "official"
    or somethng..

    By the way, I'm in California, also.

    Just an idea,
    Terry
  17. charlenef

    charlenef New Member

    i think people are looking but i try to keep my head down stupid huh? if there is a parking spot close i wont even use it for some reason even though i cant stand very long i feel guilty like ive done something wrong charlene
  18. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    Your doctor is WRONG who told you that you must be bedridden to get a handicapped parking card. Ask your rheumy for one.

    I'm not sure if people are looking in disgust or curiosity. I think it is human nature to stare at a "difference". We notice it, it is a "novelty"---well, that probably isn't the best word, but "unusual" isn't the right word either.

    I guess I'm so focused that I tend not to notice other people. If I'm walking, I'm concentrating on the walking.

    When I get out my electric mobility scooter, I pass everyone by like I'm in the Indy 500. ZOOM ZOOM!
  19. Kryssie

    Kryssie New Member

    I dont have a handicap placard, but I do park in the new/expectant mother parking when I get half a chance LOL!
  20. cjcookie

    cjcookie New Member

    holes in the bottom that correspond with your year of birth. If anyone ever says anything, you can tell them to look at that. Does every state do this?