Author of Breasts Don't Lie

Archive for the ‘arm injury’ Category

An Epidemic of Entitlement

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On good days, I think the world is in transition. On most days, the world is cultivating an epidemic of entitlement. 

Today I put away my handicapped parking placard. I have had one for a year. The placard swung from my rear view mirror through surgeries, non-anesthetized debridements, surgical shoes, surgical boots, 6 different antibiotics, and 7 different types of painkillers. And pain. I have needed it for the pain. Unable to walk more than 100 feet without excruciating pain.

I needed to park close by. I needed to open my car door all the way to leverage out my unbendable leg. To maneuver my sutured arm out. Sometimes I am working with one side of my body. I never realized how much I needed those slashed lines on either side and the wide parking spaces (access zone for loading and unloading) until I couldn’t move my right side (ankle, knee, hip, and elbow) and had to navigate with a plastic, metal, and fabric device immobilizing my body.

If the handicapped space was occupied or a car was parked in the access zone with slashed lines, I did not enter that Starbucks, Harris Teeter, restaurant, or hair salon. Most times the parked cars were without handicap insignia. The business owners lost my business. 

When I would ask about the situation or attempt to get the person to move their car, I was met with hostility and venom.

A woman, illegally parked in a handicapped parking space, coming out of a hair salon, the one below, shouted at me calling me an inconvenience. I HAD HER ASS TOWED.

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 At the chiropractic office below, the receptionist said, “I’m sure they aren’t our patients. What do you want me to do about it?” Well, you could say something supportive or even put up a sign to increase awareness or encourage your clients to FOLLOW THE LAW.

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While parking my car one morning, a woman in yoga class, yes, I take yoga classes, it’s cheaper and more effective for me than physical therapy, asked if I had enough room to get out of my car. She was parked illegally in the slashed access zone next to the handicap parking space. I asked her repeatedly to move. She moved her car 6 inches. No lie. NO LADY I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH ROOM. YOU PARKED YOUR CAR IN THE SLASHED ACCESS AREA NEXT TO MY HANDICAPPED SPACE SO I CAN’T OPEN MY CAR DOOR. She wouldn’t move her car until the police made a visit. Now in yoga class, she sits behind me, smiling, wanting to be friends. I don’t want to be your friend. Piss off.

See I have this handy-dandy iPhone. Click click. Picture taken with license tag. Call to the nonemergency police number. They ask for information. I have tags, make, model of the car on a time and date stamped file.

Don’t ask me to be nice about this. I am not apologizing for needing that space. I am not apologizing for asking you to follow the law. To think about other people. Grow up.

I am happy you are able-bodied but, realize the world is changing. Aging. Getting more knee and hip replacements. Having more surgeries. Needing wheelchair vans. If you live long enough, and I hope you do, you or someone you love will need a handicapped parking space and the adjacent slashed access zone. Don’t park there. The other option is to park there but don’t be surprised if someone dents your car with their handicap van or takes a baseball bat to your entitled windshield. 

Having done neither, I think I have exercised remarkable restraint.

Words of Thanks

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First thing, I wanted to say thank you for all the lovely personal responses to my last blog. It was frighteningly vulnerable to write such a very personal narrative of what happened the night of Rod’s death.

Each communication – the comments, the personal emails, the phone calls, and the precious spoken words – means so very much to me (even the hate mail). The responses allowed me to put the event in perspective.

This blog will get back to normal (funny, goofy, snarky, honest, at times educational) within a month. I have been out of communication as I slog through medical problems. So far I have gone through a dental procedure and a foot surgery. The last surgery is on Monday to repair my arm. It is quite a tickle – I will look like the mummy – appropriate to the book I am writing about ancient Egypt.

I wanted to acknowledge your support through these last two weeks. People have driven me to the surgeries, spent time with me, advocated for me in the processes, and watched stupendously bad, sometimes just plain stupid TV or movies with me. You have bolstered my spirits when I wanted to cry in frustration. You have understood my grumpiness. You have held me when I cried. You have cut me some slack.

People have sent me emails, phoned, and texted without expecting a return communication. I can barely type or write or hold the phone.

Thank you to the members of my yoga classes who have signed up to bring me food. I look forward to being back with you, nourishing you in my way. I miss laughing with you as we pick ourselves up after falling down.

Big hug to every one of you! You confirmed my faith in people and community in a time when the world is a painful place and so is my body.

No matter what else happens in my life, this opportunity to create community will be my greatest accomplishment. Thank you.

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