April 13, 2011

Are you kidding me?

     First  off know this... I do not consider myself handicapped just simply recovering and in need of some handicap services some of the time.  However during these last almost 4 weeks of being home and 2+ weeks of driving I have encountered some unbelievable people out there.
     We have had a handicapped parking tag since Patrick's bout with SB a few years ago.  It automatically renews itself every 4 years.  I could have gotten my own with my CFS diagnosis but why bother we really don't need to have 4 blue tags around the house now do we?  I also will admit that I love having that baby at Christmas time, though honestly it seems like every other car today has a tag.  I guess this is a little bit of the pot calling the kettle black as maybe I've taken advantage of our blue tag in the year or two between Patrick's recovery and my recent diagnosis :0(  Well with that self-incrimination over I am going to share with you some of my recent experiences.
     The three most frustrating experiences I'm going to share each represent a different handicap service.

   We'll start with today's experience.  Now as I mentioned above it seems as if everybody and their brother has a handicapped parking tag.  Today was my first appointment for stress therapy.  It was right after my physical and speech therapies and I was a bit tired.  Being a new patient I had to arrive early for all the forms and such. So anyway as I arrive I found the two handicapped spots; one was filled one not.  There was a spot available right next to the open handicapped spot and I took that.  As I go inside I notice a woman sitting in the parked car in the other handicapped spot.  Forty five minutes later after telling them everything but my grandmother's maiden name I went out to my car to get my iTouch and I see this woman is STILL sitting in her car (the other spot was filled by this time).  REALLY are you kidding me?  I understand that this woman was obviously taking time out of her day to drive someone to an appointment and that is a wonderful thing to do.  But did she really have to sit in the handicapped spot?  Even if the person she accompanied was/is handicapped why did she need to sit in that spot for the entire time? The office has a entrance to the building that she could easily pull up in front of when her passenger left the building so there's no reason whatsoever for her to be sitting there.  BTW she was gone by the time I left~ not that I would have said or done anything but good thing just the same, lol.
     My next story concerns the motorized shopping carts.  To be honest I don't think anyone could do any real shopping with one of those.  The one or two times I have used them I found them to be very frustrating and limiting as well.  And navigating them isn't easy either don't let those commercials on TV fool you.  Granted the ones at Wal-Mart and Publix aren't hoverarounds or whatever they're called.  But easy no!  So back to this happy experience.  Saturday I head to Wal-Mart to get last minute things for lunch.  Saturday at Wal-Mart is never pretty and the parking Lot is always chaotic.  To top it off there are 2 girls walking to Wal-Mart who most think they're indestructible.  Why walk on the side-walks or at least straight down an aisle?  No let's cut through the enter/exit lanes at a diagonal.  Now mind you our Wal-Mart has a gas station at it's entrance so it is even more congested than most.  This intersection is of course where these girls truly believe the world revolves around them as they just keep on walking.  I never saw them slow down to check on traffic.  As this is a Wal-Mart Super Center and the only one for miles at what starts to be rural it has quite a large parking lot.  I eventually find a parking spot (no handi-capped available that day).  As I push my walker into the store I am actually debating should I use a motorized cart as I'm a bit tired from this morning's gardening activities and I know I will be wiped when this is done.  Well it doesn't matter as someone has made that decision for me by taking the last cart just as I walk in.  Who was it?  Well you may have guessed by now ~ it was one of those girls who just walked across the parking lot!!  Now just to fill you in there are no apartment complexes right next to the store that they have walked from.  In fact there is literally NOTHING next to Wal-mart and across the street is a shopping center.  I don't know where they came from but I can assure you that walking to Wal-Mart from any residence would be at least a mile.  Yes it was hot out Saturday, maybe even 90 degrees.  Were they tired, I'm sure they were.  But to take a cart, never mind the last cart~ Are you kidding me!!  I really had a hard time being polite (never mind Christian) as they passed me slugging behind my cart with my walker hanging out knocking displays over.  (I really did hit 2~oops)
    My last observation is almost too surreal.  (The names and places have been changed to protect the guilty)
While attending a function where we knew most everyone I needed to use the restroom.  As with most facilities they have a handicapped stall ~ONE.  As I make my way in a friend stopped me to say hello.  This restroom isn't huge so women are going around me. This entire time me and my walker are facing towards the stalls so obviously I'm not on my way out.  While the bathroom is busy there are open stalls available.  Can you guess what happened....
That's right ~ someone walks right past me and goes into the handicapped stall!!! I literally cannot fit into a regular stall with my walker so I have to wait.  You know how it is when you need to go and you're oh so close.  Well maybe your body doesn't turn on you like mine does but when I am that close it is as if Niagara Falls needs to bust out.  I had 1 or 2 people ask if they can help me and in a not so quite voice I say thank you but I really need to use the handicapped stall as I need the bars for help.  I'll admit that I have always preferred to use the handicapped stalls but I have never nor would I ever use one with a handicapped person waiting!  Of course to me it seemed like she took an extra long time and said nothing as she finally walked past.  It blows my mind that people are truly that oblivious to others around them.

    There are reasons we offer these services for those individuals.  Thank heavens.  I know there are plenty of people out there who take advantage of them but there are just as many people who rely on them.  I can honestly say that this experience has really made me very self-aware of how I use and even have possibly misused them in the past. Maybe this new Bren will be a little better~ we can only hope
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