Saturday, October 20, 2007

A New Milestone

Well, I've reached a milestone -- one that I didn't expect to hit for at least another 30 or 40 years.

My doctor authorized me for a temporary handicapped parking pass.

The few times I've used it so far, I've felt really weird about it -- like people are going to look at me and think I'm using someone else's pass since there's nothing obvious wrong with me.

I also think it's ironic that twice now I've parked in a handicapped spot, only to discover as I'm on my way to the building that there was a non-handicapped spot that was open that was closer to the entrance than where I parked.

My pass is set to expire in April. Six months is the longest that Oregon authorizes temporary passes, and I certainly hope that I'm well long before then. But seeing it dangling from my rear-view mirror, with the month and year of expiration punched, it strikes me as so arbitrary since my many doctors can't tell me when I'll feel better or even whether I'll ever be "back to normal" again.

After getting the pass, I accompanied my husband and daughter to Costco, where we parked in a handicapped spot and then I borrowed one of Costco's electric scooters since I knew I didn't have energy to walk around the entire store.

My daughter, who will be 3 in December, thought it was so cool, and of course she wanted to ride on my lap. I suspect just being there would have worn me out anyway, but having to try to steer while she was trying to turn the wheel back and forth all the time was enervating.

I did find it interesting how different a store looks from a seated position. I had trouble finding items that are normally so obvious, but now they were above my line of vision. It was also interesting to have to turn my head to look since I couldn't turn my body to face the shelves. I wondered if that was what it's like to be in a wheelchair.

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