My Experience Getting a Disabled Parking Permit

I’ve questioned if I’m “disabled enough” for a disabled parking permit for a long time. On the outside I look like your average eighteen year old girl, so people tend to downplay the severity of my chronic illnesses, and I was afraid to ask for help because I didn’t want to be laughed at or accused of exaggerating. Even though many people who have the same conditions as I do use a disabled parking permit, I was still apprehensive about asking for one.

My mom and I have been discussing this for quite a while, but when I found out I was going to college and living off campus, the conversation became more serious. The college I’m going to is very large and they have a huge parking issue. Even if I went to class two hours early to find parking there’s still no guarantee I’d find a spot, especially since students who live on campus are prioritized when it comes to parking. When I was going to community college I would get to school an hour early because the walk from the parking lot to the building, and then from inside the building to my class would take so much out of me that I would feel awful and needed time to rest to regain some energy.

Honestly, going through that routine everyday was incredibly tiring physically and very daunting every morning. Not even being able to get to class at a community college without at least a 20 minute break to recover was a reality check for how bad things really were. I would use all my energy to go to class, and then would crash and feel even more terrible when I got home, to the extent I wasn’t able to do anything at all for the rest of the day. Then things got even worse and I wasn’t able to do it at all.

I was really nervous to ask my PCP about the parking permit, especially since I just recently switched to a new PCP (my old PCP I had seen for six years and she ran out of ideas so I decided to get a fresh pair of eyes on my situation). However, she is pretty well versed with the whole Dysautonomia thing and everything that goes along with that, and she agreed that it would be beneficial to me especially in the school setting. Outside of school, I plan on only using it on really bad days. If I’m feeling decent then I won’t use it, or if the nearest available parking spot isn’t too far, I also won’t use it.

When we went to the DMV to actually get the permit I was nervous that they would think I was faking it, since I don’t fit the physical description of what most people who receive these permits fit. However, the man was very nice and everything worked out perfectly! I sat down while my mom stood in line, and then went up to the desk to give the man all my paperwork and my ID. I started to feel really terrible right after we got there, so when the man asked if I needed to sit down while he looked over everything, I was very grateful. My mom stood there while he looked over everything and got the placards, and then we were done! The whole process took maybe twenty minutes, which I was really thankful for since I thought it would be like the DPS where you have to wait for over two hours just to renew your license.

This is definitely not something I want to have to need, but I’m glad the process was easy and painless. I hope actually using it in the real world goes smoothly too!

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23 thoughts on “My Experience Getting a Disabled Parking Permit

  1. I’m glad the process ended up being so easy! Even though you don’t want to have to use a permit, it’s definitely helpful to have one for when you do need it (which I’m sure you already know). Hopefully it makes transitioning back into school easier. โค

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  2. I understand totally Alyssa! I remember when the doctor wrote for me to have handicap parking, I cried and refused to use it for a while. You do not have to use it all the time, just use it when you need to. This is all up to you and there for you when you need a little extra help with walking. I was able to mail mine off to the DMV and I received it back in the mail probably 2 weeks later. It really is a super easy process! Best wishes Alyssa!
    **I feel like I am talking to myself again with typing your name:)*

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    1. I felt okay about getting it, but I feel apprehensive about using it for the first time. I’m heard horror stories of people being confronted and accused of lying, which sounds awful. I’m glad the process was easy for you! I will definitely look into mailing for future renewals, I didn’t even know that was an option! I hope you are doing well today ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. I have had mine for a little more than 2 years and only had 2 ignorant people upset me. The first time was within the first week having it. A woman was with her young child and accused me of lying. There were more words involved, but I went into the store in tears. The second time was recently and my response was priceless! I looked at the man and simply said (please excuse my language ) “Sir you don’t know shit about me or what I live with. People as ignorant as you should NEVER reproduce! ” Try to never allow mean people to upset you. They are not worth your time โ™ก! Stay strong and amazing ๐Ÿ™‚

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          1. Sweetie people are always so quick to judge and it is so wrong! I am only 36 and I do look younger than that. It doesn’t help that I drive a sporty car so people think I am fine. I know on the outside I look “normal” but on the inside I am anything but normal. If it happens to you, just hold your head up high and move on from it. I promise you those people do not deserve your time and or energy!!!

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  3. No matter how old you are, whether you drive or not, get one, if you need one. All I had to do in CT, is have my PCP fill out the paper, and send it to DMV. A few weeks later, it came in the mail. I carry it with me, when I go out. (I don’t drive.) If I need it, I use it, and if I’m having a good day, I don’t. ๐Ÿ™‚

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