I never thought I would have one of these hanging blue handicap thingies. Well shit. I never thought I would be blind either!
When the idea of getting a handicap placard came up… I wanted NOTHING to do with it! I’m not handicapped! I can get out of a car without help, I can walk (carefully), I don’t use a wheelchair, or a walker. C’mon… I teach weekly group fitness classes, I’m healthy, I’m FINE! I’m not handicapped! I’m just kinda, sorta visually impaired. Sounds like more “control” issues Maria! Helloooo …..You have LHON. You don’t see very well! It’s a disability. It’s a handicap. It sucks.
All those reasons weren’t reeeally why I didn’t want to apply for a handicap placard. The REAL reason was that I did not want to be told I had to surrender my driver’s license. Believe it or not, this GGB still has a valid drivers license! If the DMV gets the application for a placard, they will know I am legally blind. If I am legally blind, why do I still have a DRIVERS license? …..get where this is going?
IT’S MINE! <arms crossed – pouty face> The drivers license I’ve had for 34 years. The license that has a halfway decent picture on it! We have all had that one picture that looks like you just saw your grandma naked! Oh snap! The license that I show when I get carded! ….Carded. Really Maria? Shhhhyahh…that happens all the time! Ok…. sometimes! Ha ha! THAT license is mine. <more pouty face> I just wasn’t ready.
Giving up driving to LHON was hard enough, and the thought of surrendering my license was like giving up a piece of me. A piece of my old life. I don’t want an “ID card”. I want a license like everyone else my age!! But, I’m not like everyone else anymore.…… I’m affected by LHON. Total game changer!
WAIT…HOLD UP! IYou know what? I may not be like all my friends & family anymore….. But, I am still a “Front Row Diva!” My fitness friends know what that means! If I’m not teaching in front of the class, I’m in the front f*cking row!! Shocking, I know! Can you say “EXTROVERT”!
So, I finally realized that having the hanging blue handicap thingy would help the wonderful people who drive me all over town. We can park closer to the store or gym…. front row, front row….. with less worry about helping me walk around parking lots and cars. Better for everyone!
I received my blue handicap placard in the mail this week. I also STILL have my drivers license! I didn’t have to surrender it! The DMV never notified me about it. Maybe my record now states “If this blind bitch is ever caught driving, she is in a shit load of trouble!”
It takes time for me to acknowledge the realities of my unexpected life. Not everyone is going to understand how hard that is. You probably won’t know…. unless you are visually impaired or legally blind. It’s beyond hard! When I am ready to handle it…I am ready. No sooner. Sooooo, let’s be safe and park it in the front row!
Now that I have it, don’t be fightin’ over who’s gonna be drivin’ with the….Girl Gone Blind!
You really are my hero. Just make sure you know that.
Keep that license! They have these “auto-drive” cars being developed now that can be programmed to take you wherever you want to go. Maybe the DMV WASN’T overlooking your license… you are GOING places!
We waited a full year before selling the car Jeremy’d been driving and he applied for the handicap placard. It seemed so darned final and permanent. He wasn’t ready until then, and his emotional well-being was far more important. I totally agree with you Maria…everyone’s LHON journey is personal, and it will take the time it takes…no rush.
Ah, we’re twinsies – with the same expiration date. A disability is a disability, and please don’t look at this as a failure. Heck – we can now fight for the same spots at Vons, or Bed Bath and Beyond. Better yet, no walking for miles to the band tournaments! I know it’s hard, Maria. But you’re strong. Parking a little closer doesn’t make you any less a person. Just wait until you really start to notice who’s using “OUR” handicapped spots and you have to park many spots away. No placards on their dash, mirror, or license plate. Those are the ones who should be feeling a twinge, not us. Love and hugs – Mel.
Reading your blog with my magnifying glass and feeling like i know exactly where youre coming from
MARIA, I NEVER LIKE TO SHOP IN DOWNTOWN L.A., TO GO TO THE AHMANSON THEATER, OR TO A SPECIAL EVENT BECAUSE I ALWAYS SEEM TO GET THE FARTHEST “OUT BACK” PARKING SPACE.
GOT THAT PUPPY SOLVED! I ALWAYS HOPE I CAN INCLUDE ONE OF MY FRIENDS WHO HAS ONE OF THOSE “HANGING BLUE THINGIES” AS. ONE OF MY PASSENGERS!
WITH THAT BONUS, WE ALL ARRIVE ON TIME!!!
YOU WILL BE A FANTASTIC MODERATOR AT THE LHON SEMINAR!…..SO PROUD OF YOU! LEE