This past week I had to get stitches on my incision from my port placement about a month ago because the site won’t fully heal and I have a small hole (open wound) on my chest. On Friday, I went to the rheumatologist to deal with the fevers I have been having and the possible EDS. The rheumatologists are stumped by my fevers but ended up ordering blood work to exclude multiple ailments. Overall, 15 tubes of blood were taken and that left my POTS to be pretty unhappy. Although I was not feeling well, I had to run some errands which included getting my campus parking permit. Currently, I have a handicap placard, which makes my life a lot easier. It allows me to park closer to where I need to go enabling me to actually do what I need to do instead of being fatigued, symptomatic and in pain by the time I get to where I need to go. Since my old campus parking permit expired, I parked on a residential street next to the building I needed to go, with my handicap placard, to in order to pick up a form a needed for my parking permit.
As I got out of my car, a man on a bike starting yelling at me stating, “You aren’t disabled, you shouldn’t be parking there and using a handicap placard”. He proceeded to argue with me for about ten minutes as I started to tear up and defend myself. He could not see my heart racing and my fatigue. He could not see that I was lightheaded and starting to gray out. He could not see the physical pain I was in. He couldn’t see the frustration and anger I felt after the doctors appointment. All he could see was that I was parking on his street, like most UCLA students do and thought I was misusing a handicap placard. After ten minutes of arguing, he started to bike away as he threatened to call the DMV and report me. As tears rolled down my cheeks, I told him to go ahead and call the DMV so that then he can feel guilty for making me upset when they tell him the placard belongs to me for a legitimate reason.
My point is that you shouldn’t judge or assume because you don’t know what someone is going through. You are ignorant to the lives of everyone but yourself. Someone may put on a brave face but they may have their own hidden truths. There are things about people that you cannot see. Who knows, the comments you say may only make their situation worse. Think before you speak and act because your actions and words to affect the lives of others.