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    Using Handicap Parking Spots When you Live with an "Invisible" Illness
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    Stephanie Butler, RN posted:
    I thought this was a particularly interesting, and true, post from the National MS Society's Blog. The author discusses what it's like to use a handicap parking spot when you have an invisible illness, and the judgement and even bullying that you may experience as a result-

    https://www.msconnection.org/Blog/February-2016/The-Normal-Paradox

    "Have you ever been in a situation where you park in a disabled stall and then act worse than you feel when you get out of the car? I know I have. It stinks, too, because I feel like I need to "look the part" if I don't want to be judged."
     
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    Becca33160 responded:
    Unfortunately, I have never even had to consider the issue, since I look disabled and have difficulty walking.
     
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    zaljo65 responded:
    I appreciate all the posts but you owed to yourself to live the best you can, in my case i had all the same problems only I'm an American hispanic origen, look hispanic and speaking with an acent so i have been through a lot...most people are good people, the others some ignorants don't worry about them...Have somebody told you that they will call the cops to report you for using handicap space because you are 6 feet tall and looks healthy...?
     
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    Stephanie Butler, RN replied to zaljo65's response:
    I completely agree with you, we do owe it to ourselves to live the best lives that we can. Thank you for your insight, zaljo65.
     
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    Stephanie Butler, RN replied to zaljo65's response:
    I completely agree with you, we do owe it to ourselves to live the best lives possible. Thank you for your insights, zaljo65.
     
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    doriana07 responded:
    I really couldn't care less what others think. Just because I walk in a place fairly normal does not mean I will leave the same. Usually I don't. There is enough to be concerned about, no way will I wonder what other people think or say. Honestly, no one has ever done anything other than offer help. You may be staring at them? Something to ponder...
     
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    Stephanie Butler, RN replied to doriana07's response:
    That's a good point doriana07. I do think that at times we are overly self-conscious or worried about what others think, when in reality nobody is paying attention However, I have heard some stories from fellow MSers about people confronting them in public so it goes both ways.
     
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    Brat62 responded:
    I am currently 31 and have been fighting with ms for 4 years now. I am permanently on a cane and I get grief a lot because I dare to park in a handicap space. And I do walk with a cane and show a physical disability people seem to react to my age and faster looking car. It seems like the elderly are the primary people who are nasty to me and the very occasional caregiver. A couple of years ago I was able to park in regular spots (unless things were very very bad) and would go out of my to not park in handicap just to avoid the nasty look, snide comment and outright nastiness. I have also had people purposely run shopping carts into my car. So far I have avoided saying anything (somehow) but I am at a breaking point and will eventually get rude and nasty back.
     
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    Stephanie Butler, RN replied to Brat62's response:
    It's so sad that you have had to deal with that kind of treatment. I know one person that also frequently experienced backlash for parking in handicapped spots and she was also starting to get to the point of lashing out. She decided to instead start carrying a flyer about multiple sclerosis and tried to turn it into an opportunity to spread MS awareness, and also to avoid getting sucked into an argument. I don't think we should have to deal with it at all, but I do think she has the right idea...
     
    avatar
    Stephanie Butler, RN replied to Brat62's response:
    It's so sad that you have to deal with that kind of treatment. I know one person that also frequently experienced backlash for parking in handicapped spots and she was also starting to get to the point of lashing out. She decided to instead start carrying a flyer about multiple sclerosis and tried to turn it into an opportunity to spread MS awareness, and also to avoid getting sucked into an argument. I don't think we should have to deal with it at all, but I do think she has the right idea...


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