I stuttered and stammered as I broached the subject with her. "Well, the last thing he recommended I am not sure I really need and it's pretty hard for me to talk about it with you, but it's on my list (I was carrying a written list of topics so as not to leave out something important) so I suppose it's worth discussing...," as my voice trailed off, I found myself looking away to swallow down the lump that was rising in my throat.
Dr. SWWNBN sat back as if to brace herself for the unknown. It is a rare occasion I am speechless in ANY setting, let alone with her, and I believe she sensed my struggles.
"What?" she remarked inquisitively, but with a softer tone than usual.
"Well," I struggled to find the right words. "He thinks I should ask you for one of those parking thing-a-ma-jiggy's to hang on my mirror when I need it, but..." I continued to feel very uncomfortable and had to pause again to regroup.
"It's just that I'm not sure I need one, but sometimes I guess I do. It might be helpful to have, but...this is REALLY hard to ask about!" I exclaimed, as if speaking to a higher authority than Dr. SWWNBN. I was now wishing I hadn't even brought the subject up and had just let the sweat from my palm completely obliterate the ink marks on my paper.
"Oh, that's a great idea," she said, leaning forward, no longer in fear I might tell her I was pregnant or some other equally as horrifying news.
"Well, I don't KNOW if it's a great idea or not," I began in my continued self-argument. "It's really hard for me to ask for such a thing because I'm basically healthy...like now...I don't need to be parking in disabled parking, except maybe once in a while, but even then..." I was looking away again.
"No, you should have one. For those times when you DO need it. You won't be using it ALL the time, but it's a good idea for you to have the option. I'll fill out the paperwork for you."
And that was that.
My disabled parking placard(s) arrived in the mail today. It pained me to open the envelope because I KNEW what was inside. Flashy, shiny, blue DISABLED PARKING placards.
Change is very hard for me and acceptance is even more difficult. Throw in an ounce of "You don't deserve this" and I've pretty much mentally screwed myself into a corner. LOL
My mother used to tell us to clean the food off our plates because there were "children starving in China" and we should not "waste" food they might otherwise eat (thus, began the eating disorder I carry with me today!). In a somewhat different realm of thinking (but along these same lines), it is very difficult for me to consider parking in a space designated for "disabled" because, A. Someone who is far worse off than me at the time might need it more, B. I am NOT disabled (it is an "ego" thing), and C. I should just be able to PUSH myself harder even when walking with a cane...after all...I still CAN walk if I'm only using a cane, right?!? The placard shows someone in a wheel chair, not someone with vertigo, a cane, a dragging leg, etc. The entire permit was certainly NOT designed for me.
I don't know how long these placards will sit on my counter top before I eventually move them to my car and take one to work with me. I don't know if or WHEN I will ever find the courage (and dare I say, "humility" in it's purest sense?") to USE one of them. I don't know if I will ever get over the sadness of the reality I might NEED one of them at some point.
There are just some things about the disease of MS (and life) I remain ambivalent about..and each seed of change that gets planted takes on a life of its own.