Monday, June 02, 2008

handicap tag... y/n

Ace's physical therapist is pushing me to get a handicap tag. She wants me to let him use his walker wherever we go, which would be great, except a) if I let him walk all the way across a parking lot, he'll get tired by the time we reach our destination and I'll have to put him in his stroller anyway and b) the walker is unbelievably difficult to carry if I'm pushing a stroller at the same time. This is obviously keeping me from using the walker to it's full potential, and Ace's PT doesn't like that very much.

Still, I feel like if I just suck it up and carry the walker and push him in the stroller closer to where we're going, I'll be doing good.

Except I don't do it, because it's hard. (See? Y'all can stop telling me that I do so much for Ace. I really could be doing so much more.)

I told the PT that I'd feel guilty, since *I* am able-bodied. I can also carry my child or put him in his stroller, and there are lots of people who don't have it quite so easy, and I'd be taking their spot away from them. She told me that there are people who have handicap tags because they can't handle cold weather. Hmm. She also then chided me and reminded me that I have a touchy back and I shouldn't be carrying the walker everywhere. She has a point there.

Sheesh. I'm also feeling angst over getting an accessible seat for the Braves game on Wednesday night. I want so much to bring his walker, but it just would not work in a regular seat.

So many decisions...


HEATHER said...

Stacey, maybe you should get one. It sounds like the therapist wants Ace to walk more, and maybe this would be more practice for him.
I will tell you when Paddycake was this age I didn't let him walk into places-I carried him. I don't know, does the therapist have kids of their own?

Old Bopper said...

Get the accessible seat at the Braves game. They are underutilized anyway.

Get the parking permit. You don't have to use it if you don't want to and there will be times when you don't need it. Sometimes regular spaces are closer than handicap spaces because the latter require ramp access.

Supermom said...

I agree with oldbopper... get it and use it when you need it.

I once went out for dinner with some friends in college. We got back to the dorm and I was shocked when she pulled up into a handicap space.

I asked, "why are you parking here?" She replied innocently, "Oh, it's OK, I have a handicap decal. My mom is handicapped."

As her Mom was not currently with her in college, I replied, "The permit is for the individual, not the car. The car isn't handicapped."

She genuinely seemed surprised at that assessment and I could tell she thought she wasn't doing anything wrong.

She quickly pulled out and found a regular space.

There will be times with Ace you'll wish you have it. There will be times you don't need to utilize. But go ahead and get so you'll be prepared.

And I also agree with the Braves. There are plenty of those spaces.. you'll need the space with his walker.

JesusThroughMary said...

If I were in your situation, I would probably say I didn't want one, too, but I also think you should get one. Your son has a legitimate reason to have the tag, and allowing him to use the walker more will benefit him in the long run. I would trust the judgment of the therapist.

Your therapist is also right in that there are people who have handicap tags that are in better condition than Ace, and I would also say that it's not a contest. Anyone who qualifies under the law should be able to have one. There are more than enough spots for everyone - have you ever seen someone with a handicap tag park in a regular spot because all the handicap spots are taken? They could hold the Handicapped Pride Parade at the Cherry Hill Mall and still have open spaces.

Last thought - I'm sure you wouldn't say that the elderly woman in a wheelchair shouldn't have a tag just because her able-bodied husband or son drives her everywhere and can push her wheelchair from the other side of the parking lot. You do an incredible amount for Ace, but you don't have to be a superhero when you can take advantage of a legitimate aid that is available to you.

By the way, we chose Paul. It was a very close call, though.

JesusThroughMary said...

Aren't the Braves in Atlanta?

Susan said...

I agree, get the tag for when you need it. Maybe you can get one of the rearview mirror hang tags instead of the official car tag. My mom was able to get one of those to use when she takes my grandma places, then she just takes it down when grandma's not with her or they don't need it. And yes, she DOES take it down when grandma's not with her! That's always been a pet peeve of hers. I tell her it would still count since she's clearly mentally handicapped, but she doesn't buy it!

And yes, the Atlanta Braves are in Atlanta, but the AA Mississippi Braves are in Pearl!

black betty said...

don't let him walk across the parking lot at wal-mart! i almost go nailed this weekend. bastids!!!

tgtank said...

Stacey, DO NOT FEEL GUILTY! Get it and use it when you need it. Even though it's different from taking care of Ace, I lug twins around...and that's hard.

Sensational Image Consulting said...

WOW! He has the greatest mom ever. I had it when I was pregnant the first time. It came in handy at JSU. We have a slight parking problem. This is something I thought about. I say get it. I don't like to go to certain places with my three kids for saftey reasons. Recently, I went to a store and men were sitting in the parking lot watching people and drinking beer. If I was a crook and saw you with the walker and stroller, I would think fresh meat. I say get it, and use it to your advantage. If you feel guilty, think of your safety and his safety in a parking lot. Times are getting hard. People are doing anything for money and the lack thereof. Look at the increase in bank robberies. Okay, I'm finish now!

From the Doghouse said...

It's better to have it and not use it than to need it and not have it.

And forget the accessible seats. Guilt them into letting you into a suite.

Blake and Lilly's Momma said...

I agree! Get the HC tag and use it when you need to. I had a temporary tag for a few months because my RA was getting so bad I could barely move... but I only used it if I REALLY needed it... which wasn't often, but it sure was nice to HAVE it when I DID need it!

As for the game... I say go for the suite too :)

Deanna said...

You are an amazing independent woman and that is what you want your sweet Ace to be (well, not a woman, but you know what I mean). That is why you are having such a hard time making this decision. You'll get there... but for now use this stepping stone to get you there! Bravo to you for being such an incredible Mom!

shiksa said...

Stacey, you're a rock star mom and I think you should get a parking decal just for that. But as all of these people say, get the permit first - decide whether or not to use it on a case by case basis. Anyone who feels it's their place to judge you can step into the 'cast the first stone' support group, hosted by me and Frank. And a big pile o rocks.

Watercolor said...

Get one and use it when you need to and don't when you don't.

Bird said...

Uv course, YOU don't need the tag, but think of it like this:

You don't want to teach Ace that getting what he needs is somehow undesirable. Your PT is right--I heard about a woman who couldn't handle the cold and got a handicapped tag---hello? Move to Florida. Think of it as an advocacy thing--this is a great chance to teach Ace that sometimes he may need something that not everyone else needs--asking for it is a good thing.

Give yourself a break, girl, you're gonna need that back for at least another fifty years.

Jennifer said...

Ace might be too big for this, but I have my daughter (spastic diplegia) use a push toy. I take the stroller and walk along side of her. When she is tired, i can put the push toy in the basket under the stroller and keep on going. i also let her spend time helping me push the grocery cart or the back of the stroller. i don't think I would want to use a walker much myself for the very reasons you mentioned!