Friday, April 24, 2009

Handicapped Permit Headache

Becca and her Handicap Permit

Yesterday Becca and I stopped at the Kwik Trip gas station for a soda and a break. Becca was exhausted from our adventures and I parked my big Sequioa in the handicapped parking place in front of the store. The only other space is parking on the hill and when I park there, Becca cannot get out as the huge door closes on her while she tries to get out, or once she is in she can't shut the door with her tiny arms. She fatigues late in the day and cannot walk far without exhaustion.

Back to the story, I got out of the car and was yelled at by some 80+ year old gentlemen saying I had no right to park in the handicap stall! I have handicap plates for a reason, I calmly said my daughter is handicapped (so much for medical privacy) and he still was arguing that I am going to get a ticket, creating quite a scene at the busiest part of the day. He told me that kids aren't allowed to have handicap places.

In the meantime, some other people were getting into it and staring. I shut Becca's door and moved my car to avoid anymore harassment. The doctors wife in our tiny town of 4000 doesn't want to make enemies, scenes and just decided the battle was not worth picking.

Becca was ANGRY and fuming. She stomped in to the store, she was aggitated and telling me loudly that I shouldn't have moved, that guy is discrimating. The last time this happened was when she was 9 and I refused to move from the handicap stall (Becca was in a wheelchair at the time, hooked up to a feeding pump) and an old couple had parked me in, and called the police to have me ARRESTED because kids can be carried by their parents and don't get to use handicap permits. It was such a scene that the Target Security, Police Department were all involved because I wouldn't move. That time Becca got an apology by the Police and Target manager after the near 45 minute stand-off. The old couple were going to appeal to their State Senator that I was abusing my parking privilege.

Maybe I should complain, that I cannot park close many times because the stalls are all full and have to put Becca in a shopping cart (lifting my 74+ 19-year-old into the basket) because someone is illegally parking with the car running in for a few minute run-in-and-out. But I be polite and it is just not worth the battle. Or the two times my window has been smashed to steal Becca's handicap placard (that is why we now have plates too) and use the placard when we are out in other people's cards.

I reminded Becca we are not going to let some uninformed person ruin our day. Flipping the negative that I love having her for my sidekick because I usually get the best parking places in the parking lot because I have her. So much for her forgetting, I have an assignment that I get to write a letter to the editor of the newspaper about handicap parking permits.


Yarn Princess said...

I fully understand the frustration. We have a placard for our 6 year old. (Rare chromosome disorder)

The way some of those with handicapped plates drive you'd think the DD stood for dumb driver. We stopped at a restaurant that is very accommodating to our daughter and had someone park in the marked off section next to the handicapped space we were legally parked in. Of course this was on her side, which made it very hard to get her in and out of the van and her wheelchair. And they had hopped out of their vehicle pretty easily to go into the tanning salon next door. (We were in the only handicapped spot in that area and it was the closest one to the tanning salon other than the marked off area.)

I guess stupidity, although not a medical condition, can be a disability.

Missy said...

I understand completely! My son has MD and even tough I havent had a stand off yet I have heard sme ugly remarks and goten some ugly looks!I have the plates! As you know it is hard to get a child in and out of a wheelchair and I guess some people do not think they deserve to park up front even when it is raining or cold!

Mrs. Reverend Doctor said...

That is absolutely crazy!!! Growing up my friend had bone cancer and one leg amputated above the knee,so when she started driving she had a handicap plate and people would yell stuff at us all the time about now being allowed to park there. One time a man actually pulled in beside us and threatened to call the police so she unsnapped her leg and showed it to him!