Something TDXSP08 said in another discussion about people thinking you may be stupid if you're in a wheelchair made me wonder....
Everyone who posts here is in chronic pain for one reason or another. If you use a disabled placard for parking, if you use a cane or walker or brace or wheelchair, do you feel you are negatively judged by others? If so, how?
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. ~Joseph Campbell
Absolutely. I've had a handicapped parking permit for almost 15 years. Even though I have trouble getting in and out of my vehicle and walking into the store, some people still look at me in judgement. When we shop at "big-box" stores like WalMart, Lowe's or Home Depot, I will use a handicapped cart/scooter and drive around the store in that. I get the looks in those situations as well.
Far too many people are quick to judge without knowing the whole story. If only they could walk a mile in my shoes (or limp or ride in the chair, etc.) they may understand then.
Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.
I know that my being in a power wheelchair irritates people at the holidays and incliment weather because as far as they are concerned you "freaks" get all the good spots as someone once said to me, so when i saw this patch i had to buy it and put it on my jacket, it looks like a Handicap Placard but it actually says "I'm in this thing for the parking" and i love when people actually read and get offended by me turning the table on them for wanting "The better parking spaces" in their mind,but as Dave said roll a day in our lives or limp around and live in pain that only narcotics will ease and spend half your life in Doctors offices & waiting rooms,and lets not forget the people who have had so many x rays they can no longer get them because they will exceed the lifetime RAD accumulation i know several of those, the well and healthy just have no idea what a chronic health condition does to a person i honestly can't think of 1 that does not require either lifestyle and adding medication or just 1 of the 2 to accommodate the new "gift". but thats why i said all of who have visible or invisible illness need to be United and Unified that looking healthy means nothing. I mean how long did we force models into anorexia and bulimia so they would fit an image ,we broke that door down finally.
And maybe now is the time for the door of "you don't look sick" to come down as well, do we need to carry a bed a teddy bear a hot water bottle a box of tissues and a thermometer so when someone says that we can say wait and get into the traditional image of a sick person and say "How about now".
its like running into an acquaintance and they say "hey Bob long time how you doing" and you answer oh fine because really that person does not want to hear that right now your pain is 9/10 and you just want to crawl into a whole and die somewhere because you forgot to bring enough breakthrough meds for the whole day. they just want to make small talk and move on,and of course very few people can read your pain faces and cues so this guy is not gonna think anything is wrong because you look healthy but what about the FMers or the people with 3 or more failed back surgeries.
so everybody don't take it laying down or sitting up educate people about the hidden epidemic of sick people who look healthy,thats a barrier in society and in some places to medical care.
i have no small step for man, but i have 6 tires for mankind,Watch your Toes!
George Carlin had a funny monologue about people asking "Hi how you doing?" He went on as only GC could do in a rather foul, but funny way.
Judged... yes. Negative... sure...but with garbage even seaguls sometimes soar beatifully aloft in the pungent air.
Like most of us, I deal with a lot of garbage that goes along with chronic pain. The guilt if simply using a parking placard so I don't have to carry my breifcase across the parking lot. The constant fatigue and feeling of attack that lends itself to defensive posturing because your brain senses the pain as a physical attack and eons of of evolution have designed our brain to tell our body to protect ourselves when under attack!
Keeping clarity of friend vs. foe can sometimes be a bit blury and sometimes hurtful when one once perceived as friend turns out to be your own personal Brutas.
Of course the pain itself is daunting and as Aristotle said. "Pain upsets and destroys the person who feels it." Of course most of us can also throw in side effects of medications, stressed finances from the nexus of our performance declination coupled with all of the extra medical bills. The misery of knowing we can not perform to our potential because it takes so much of our potential just to take that next step.
It's as if you are Sysiphus himself wearing that stone up your own hill each day and that damned hill gets steep.
But sometimes the rain clears and the rain drops split the Sunlight into a rainbow of beauty only God could create.
So beware that your actions are always being watched. We are the faces of our demographic of society that just a few short decades ago was silinced by death or institution.
So while I may be guilty of a short temper and excess frustrations, I am also an example that some people look to and say, if Tim can do it, I need to quit whining and help carry the stone.
I beleive Sysiphus was actually forced to roll his stome up the hill, but forgive a little poetic license and I will forgive you all your shortcomings. Life isn't easy under the best of circumstances and we have the opportunity to show how tough we really are by living and caring for others like us.
Thanks for your Reply!
Personally I don't have time to worry or care what people are thinking who don't know me, (I don't know what they are thinking, they could be having pity for me for all I know) or try to justify to anyone why I move the way I do...
I have more pressing things to worry about than what strangers are thinking of me..
Caprice. I actually joined quite sometime ago. After being on the board for awhile I went silent while going through bad days and distracted by life. To be honest I can only take so much of this place. I understand why pain doctors always have a wall up and it takes time for them to trust people. I feel so bad for everyone in here and their's really nothing I can do. That must be what it's like to be a PM doc except you can also make them drug addicts or worse.
Life is so unfair and there are some great people in here that are suffering greatly. If I could wave my hand and stop their suffering I would.
I will try and be here as much as I can and share my experiances with the group. It's true that "it takes one to know one." I've learned the hard way to recognize people in pain are suffering in ways that few can understand.
I use a cane because of my back, spine and hip issues. People are very solicitous and perfect strangers are always trying to help me. I hate the constant pain and it probably shows. I must look like I'm in agony. The one time I broke down and was wheeled around in an airport was not a good experience. I'll put up with the pain as long as I can because I felt like I was invisible in the chair. I have never had a bad experience using my handicap placard.
I signed up for WebMD exclusively because of this post. I'm a young larger woman with a toddler at home and a bad case of fibromyalgia. My diagnosis of fibro is only a recent diagnosis for me, but I've had it for 10 years or better. In the last few years it has become worse.
On my bad days I walk as fast as my stroke patient mother does. If I have to go grocery shopping at Wal-mart I have to get into one of those scooter cars because I can't walk.
I do get looks and stares from people. I get snarky comments and people have been deliberately physically rude. I've had comments that because I'm larger I was in the scooter because I am lazy. I want to scream at these people some days.
I have learned that people are ignorant in one way or another and unfortunately some people with ignorance comes prejudice.
I drive by with my head up high knowing that I'm human like everyone else and with humanity is pain. I live with mine everyday and I still manage to be a wife, mother, friend, co-worker, maid, chef, nurse, care taker, provider.... all of these things and more. So what if I ride in a flipping scooter for an hour. I'm super woman in my family's eyes and in a way..... I am. We all are...... If pain is a four letter word that doesn't stop us from living then certainly judgment should will not either.
I struggle with people judging me due to a disabled placard almost on a daily basis. I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic Lyme disease, along with having multiple chronic stress fractures in my lumbar spine. One of the reasons why I think I get judged is because I'm a 22 year-old kinesiology (exercise science) college student who doesn't have a cane or a wheelchair and appears to be "healthy." I even had someone come up to me once and ask if I stole the placard or if I was using my mother's placard. Since then, I have taken the philosophy of not being concerned with what others think, and that there are plenty of others out there who do support me and understand the fact that illness, disease, or injury can happen to anyone at anytime. I also think of myself as being strong enough to use the placard to benefit my health, instead of trying to be a "tough guy" by not using it and pushing myself beyond what I am capable (in regards to distance I can walk comfortably) which leads to hurting myself more.
I hear you. I have handicap sticker and am 56 yr. old female and when I get out of my car people stare at me and look at me funny when i get a handicap cart. I know one thing I can drive better than some of those elderly folks. I hate having to be in this possition. I wish they would say do you need help instead of degrading me., Fibro. patients dont always look sick on the outside but are in tremendous pain inside. So please folks take some consideration of others. Yes , i do feel I am negitively judged.
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