Handicapped parking user asks not to judge by appearances

Dear editor,

This letter is regarding handicapped status and parking. It is with interest I have been following the debates about parking. I have handicap parking. My name is Dianne MacLean and my car is the station wagon with all the bumper stickers! I am constantly in severe pain and have permanent nerve damage on one leg. I am allergic to anti-inflammatories and walking on pavement makes my condition worse. I have a walker but it is cumbersome to get in and out of the car.

You often see me “running” around the community. I am usually smiling and friendly. What you don’t see is me lying in bed, crying from pain and unable to move.

As part of my coping I have found it is better for me to suck it up, walk and move as normal as possible on my better days (or hours) and try to maintain a positive attitude in public.

Parking in the handicapped space enables me to minimize the trauma to my back and nervous system and get more done.

I have compassion for anyone suffering from any kind of disability.  I have found for me, judging others and comparing pain, is not a healthy way to deal with it.

Dianne MacLean

Courtenay