Having An Invisible Illness Makes People Think I'm A Scammer

The other day, my sister and I went to the mall so she could buy some new shoes. I pulled into a handicap parking spot and saw that there was a young couple in the spot next to us - one that was no a handicap parking spot. I chuckled and told my sister, "How much you wanna bet they think I shouldn't be parking here?" She climbed out of the car and I reached over to open my glove compartment where I keep my placard. 
Just as I finished putting the placard up, the man rolled down his window and yelled out at my sister who was outside the car by now, "Scammers!" He had a smile on his face and he most likely expected my sister and I to laugh and confess that we borrowed my grandma's handicap placard. I was working on getting out of the car when my sister corrected him with, "Actually, she does need it. She has a congenital heart defect." The women beside the man said something along the lines of: "Oh, we take that back then." And the man mumbled an agreement. 

I posted this story on Facebook and sadly, several heart moms who have had rude comments about parking in a handicap parking spot when their child looks so healthy. My sister, I hope, taught this couple that you can't look at someone and be able to tell if they are sick or handicapped or not.Looking at me, you'd never know that I've had 4 open heart surgueries, have a pacemaker/ICD, take 45 pills a day, sleep with oxygen at night and some day need a heart-lung transplant. But this man assumed that just because I look healthy - I must be. Big mistake and it made him look ( and probably feel as well) stupid for his comments. 

 My sister had the idea that I should make a small business card that explains my condition and gives them a site to find out more about my illness; so when people make comments about how I shouldn't be parking in a handicap parking spot or even give me a certain look (which they do quite a lot!), I can politely hand them a card to help remind them that there are illnesses that you can't see. Just because I don't look handicap doesn't mean I'm not. 

So please, before you yell at someone that they are a scammer for parking in a handicap parking spot or even making a comment about how someone is lazy for using the elevator (which has happened to me as well in high school!), remember that they could have an invisible illness. And if anyone ever makes rude comments concerning the fact that, "you don't look handicapped enough to be parking there." or something along those lines - feel free to politely explain to them what your health issues are. 

Hope and Love,


  1. Thanks for sharing Becca, I have had similar incidents like this. Plenty of them in High School gym class. Being told once by a group of girls during playing soccer in class that "If you're not going to try then get off the field", and those type of comments got so annoying. That was very rude of the guy to say that to you two and I can't believe his wife let him in the first place.


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    The education and lessons were immense and it took us all over the world in search of a
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  3. Hi Becca...
    I've got the same problem. I've tried to walk normal since the onset of major blood clots and 2 bouts considered catastrophic hospitals visits lasting a month each and costing $100's of thousands of dollars each. I've been stopped before I got into my car for looking drunk.Those were not all that bad but the fellows that got out of their car to fight even tho' I was wobbleing away as fast as I could was a close call. I'm bleeding from everywhere as it is.


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My Life As A Chronically
Ill Young Adult
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