More MS news articles for Jan 2002

Don't expect all handicaps to be obvious

January 26, 2002

Re: Limit those parking permits, letter, Jan. 21.

The letter writer suggests we limit handicapped parking to only the those who use wheelchairs.

I am one of those people who draw looks from others when I utilize handicapped parking. You see, I am 47 years old and do not use a wheelchair. I have, however, had four massive heart attacks, heart re-section, quadruple bypass, seven other heart procedures and a defibrillator implanted, not to mention two colostomy procedures.

Perhaps the letter writer would prefer us to prominently display our specific disabilities and battle scars while shopping to satisfy his doubts as to whether we are truly disabled.

Instead of limiting handicapped parking, I would suggest that we expand it to include spots for the "cerebrally challenged." I will personally pay the $15 for the letter writer's placard.

-- Dave Flowers, Tarpon Springs

Avoid making a quick judgment

Re: Limit those parking permits, Jan. 21.

The letter writer has a very limited knowledge of what a handicapped designation includes. My husband is visibly handicapped, and cannot walk distances, so he uses a cane or a Canadian crutch. I, on the other hand, am handicapped but not visibly so: I have multiple sclerosis, a disease that is severely affected by heat, so I also cannot walk far in the hot and humid Florida weather.

I try not to occupy these handicapped slots on the days that I am not in need of them, but I also use them if needed and/or there isn't a place close enough for me to comfortably get to where I need to go.

I work as a nurse, and until recently as a home care RN. In Florida, I could never have done this without my handicapped designation. So please, don't be too quick to judge what you cannot see.

-- Patricia A. Scuderi, St. Petersburg

Everything is relative

Re: Limit those parking permits.

In reply to the letter writer on the subject of handicapped parking, I am reminded of the story of the man who once felt sorry for himself because he had no shoes -- until he met a man who had no feet.

I do not at this time need a wheelchair, but each year my walking requires greater effort. The old heart does not circulate blood as well as it did in wartime. Of course, I no longer have that adrenaline rush one can get under kamikaze attack either. And I am grateful. The guys who have artificial legs, and artificial feet, and artificial hips -- I am sure they are also grateful that things are no worse than they are.

I, too, once was sad because I had no shoes, and then I met a man who had no feet. Really.

-- Frank D. Bower, St. Petersburg

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