One of the first things I did once I got out of the hospital (besides eat real – read: fast – food) was get a temporary handicapped parking tag.
At that point, I still was having trouble walking and we thought that it would come in handy. Considering I was only able to go about 10 yards at a time before crying uncle, we were wise to do so. Even the smallest trip zapped me of energy. And we all know I’m not going to swallow my pride and get on an electric cart.
Three months later, and my tag is about to expire. So I’m faced with a dilemma. I can walk more than 10 yards now. My cane stays in my car, just in case, but I haven’t used it for weeks.
The tag and the cane are security blankets at this point, there if I need them and giving little Linus me a sense of comfort. But do I NEED them need them?
With mere days left to get the tag renewed, I wonder if I am tempting fate to let it lapse. Sure, it’s come in handy, especially with the busy shopping season upon us. I’m essentially guaranteed a good spot.
But then, I was never one of those people to spend 5 minutes looking for the closest space possible. (I may, however, be the type of empowered woman to ram your convertible all Towanda style if you cross me.)
Over the course of these past three months, I’m sure plenty of people have seen me get out of my car without a hitch and effortlessly walk. And they must wonder why this relatively young, able-bodied person has a handicapped tag. I know I’ve wondered the same before, about others.
And I want to tell them that I don’t always manage so well. That I only have so many spoons. That I can be fine one minute and not-so fine the next. That sometimes going 30 more feet really is too much to ask. That my body is as unpredictable as Kayne West on live TV – it could do anything, and it will probably be embarrassing.
That tag, as much as I don’t want it and the stigma surrounding it, is probably something I need to keep around. Capable as I think I am, it doesn’t hurt to get a little extra help now and again.