When my CRPS goes into a mega-flare, my dystonia usually follows suit and while sometimes it is just my right leg that is affected, since my ankle surgery in November 2014, it has affected my left ankle too.
I went to the university parking office a while ago and requested that I get a pass for the most accessible parking lot, as I am currently in the least accessible parking lot on campus. They said no and are forcing me to get a handicap placard for accessible parking on days I can’t walk. I wouldn’t be using a handicap spot, I just need guaranteed parking in that garage.
I can’t get a handicap placard cause I feel like that would be me giving up and don’t want to give up my sense of independence. It’s a pride thing. I am proud that I am fiercely independent, sometimes to a fault. No one wants to be seen as some weakling who always requires assistance. Especially not me.
One day, I was in a flare and the garage was closed to people without parking passes. I needed my wheelchair to get around, so when I asked to park in the garage they refused. It was the only accessible place I could have parked that day, so therefore, I couldn’t attend class because I couldn’t park my car in an accessible location. How sad is that that I pay $27,000 a year and I am being denied accessible parking privileges! Disgusting.
I bought this concern up to my pain psychologist and she told me to get the handicap placard, give the parking office what they want, get the parking pass, and then burn the handicap placard because it doesn’t and never will define me. I love that idea. It’s sad that I have to work the system in such a manner, but I have to advocate for myself and do what’s best for me.
So next week, I am getting my application for a handicap placard from my PCP, marching into that parking office, and getting the parking pass I rightfully deserve, because nothing this petty should get in the way of my academic success.
Keep your chin up and charge the mountain!