I made a big decision recently. I did not make it lightly, nor did it happen quickly. It took me several years to get to this point, partly because I was fighting myself and what it meant to me. Not an easy choice: I applied for a permanent disabled parking permit.
Since my big set of injuries, I’ve had a temporary disabled permit a couple of times. It’s a pain to fill out the forms each time and wait a few months to receive the permit, when it only lasts for six months. Obviously, I have survived without it and I can survive without it again if it’s denied for whatever reason, but my doctor fully supported my applying for a permanent placard. The only one fighting against it was me.
Something about the title “permanent disability” seemed so devastating, rigid, and final. I already went through the process of being named permanently disabled by the state after a previous work-related injury and the whole experience left such a bad taste in my mouth. This case is very different – different body area, different type of injury, different timeline. But my dad was permanently disabled in a paralysis way and to me, that always defined how I looked at disabilities.
But finally after months and years of driving around in pain, searching for open parking spots when disabled spots were available, I broke myself down. I know myself well enough to know that I won’t take a disabled spot unless I must, because I will always be thinking of my father and others who are worse off than me. I also know that there are days still when I have pain flares so extreme that sitting makes me feel like I’m being stabbed in the groin and walking makes me feel like I’m on a plate of nails.
Therefore I choose to look at this decision as looking up, making a smart move that will hopefully assist in my healing process vs. giving up and accepting defeat. My attitude with this all along has been that I will continue to work on getting better until I’m either 90% pain-free or dead. So I’ll keep going. After all, what is truly permanent anyway?