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,