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Sailing down Denial without a Paddle

Posted by Penny , 17 April 2009 · 1,554 views

I have come to the conclusion that I just might be in a tiny bit of denial when it comes to my mobility issues.

I have yet to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles and get a permanent handicapped placard to hang from my rear view mirror because I keep telling myself that those things are for people that really need them and I can get around just fine. Oh, I have had a temporary one a couple of times after surgeries on my foot and ankle, but I never asked for or pushed for a permanent one, as if denying my need for one would make one unnecessary.

When I go anywhere I always have my wheelchair or power scooter and as long as we can find a space with enough room around it to get in and out of my van I just don’t see the need for a little blue hang-tag to give me better parking. If I am feeling really full of myself and am “just running in for one thing” I will often just use my forearm crutches to do that errand then spend the rest of the day in bed recuperating.

My vanity got the best of me today, though, when I went to one of those one price dollar shops to get just a few quick items and used my crutches and wouldn’t you know it-- the cash register ran out of paper and they had trouble putting the new roll in.

There I stood, slowly turning a lovely shade of magenta as my heart started skipping and fluttering, weaving as I tried to keep upright using my little sticks and wondering if a spatula and a foil pan was really worth it as they wrestled the paper roll into the machine and started to ring me up.

I finally had bag in hand and made my way out of the store only to discover that my husband, who had dropped me off at the door, was parked in the back of the filled parking lot and not looking in my direction; so off I totted and staggered through the maze of cars until I reached my van and knocked on the window with my forehead for him to open the door. To the untrained eye it might have looked more like a face plant to the safety glass, but it was fully intentional and meant as knocking with my hands full, that is my story and I am sticking to it.

As I sat in the van on our way home he had to quip “Honey, this is the very reason why you need to get handicapped tags or a hang-tag.”

“But”, I gasped still struggling for breath with Loki diving into my purse head first, his little hind legs straight up in the air then popping out with my inhaler in his mouth, “those things are for people who really need it.”

He looked at me, and what a sight I must have been… face a beet root red, eyes bloodshot, lips blue and gasping like a guppy, a sight to inflame the heart I am sure.

“Guess what, you really need one.”

I glared at him as I sucked on the inhaler a few times, then looked down at Loki as he sat in my lap, ready to spring forth and do something service dog-wise, and told him, “Bite Daddy.”

Well, my faithful little dog looked over at my husband and laid his ears back, eyes squinting and brows lowered in his best hyena impression, then looked back at me, eyes wide and ears fully erect as if to say, “Are you crazy, woman? Look at the size of him!”

By the time I got home I needed a nap and the planned dinner of lasagna was out of the question. As I started to drift off to sleep with Loki curled up next to me keeping watch I wondered if maybe it was time to swallow my pride and go get that permanent tag after all.

Nah, those things are for people who really need them.

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