Not all disabilities are visible   1 comment

Yesterday at the market my husband made a remark about the handicapped spots in the parking lot that got me thinking.

Many people resent those legally mandated handicapped parking spots as “political correctness” or “pandering to people who should just let others take care of them”.  I am not one of those people and become annoyed when I hear those comments.

I used to have a good friend (used to because he died 8 years ago) who suffered from a severe form of schleroderma (http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Scleroderma/scleroderma_ff.asp).  In Michael’s case it caused scarring of his internal organs, leaving him with only 18% of his lung capacity.  On his good days it didn’t look like anything was wrong with him.  People would glare at him for using the handicapped spots, probably assuming he was using someone else’s placard.  He wasn’t.  On his bad days he could only walk very slowly, with extreme pain.  He would be exhausted just by walking from the bedroom to the door.  He never knew when a “good” day would change to a “bad” one.

The point is, not all disabilities involve wheelchairs or crutches or guide dogs.  Besides diseases that affect the organs, as in Michael’s case, various stress disorders, such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be far more debilitating than many people realize.  These are people who need your support, not your scorn.

Bottom line – Next time you see someone using a handicapped parking spot, don’t assume they are “sponging off the system”; don’t assume they are using someone else’s placard.  Instead, be happy that you are healthy enough not to need a placard and give them a smile instead of a glower.  Not all disabilities are visible from the outside.

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Posted December 15, 2013 by Leoma Retan in Uncategorized

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One response to “Not all disabilities are visible

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  1. Pingback: Can You Make Me A Promise? Please? | swimmingtomy50s

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