I hate that I have to use a walking stick. It is a constant reminder by my side that I have something wrong with me.
But, in a way, I’m incredibly thankful that I have it.
It’s a little bit of proof to the outside world that I have a legitimate disability.
There was a video floating around the internet recently of a woman who was parked in a disability parking space, with a legitimate blue badge, and a man (who also had a blue badge) arguing over whether the woman was deserving of parking where she had. He was ranting at her, even telling her she was just ‘too idle to walk over there’.
Another incident I would like to mention is that of a woman who, again, had a legitimate blue badge, and had just popped to the shops. When she came back to her car there was a note:
Absolutely awful, I know.
The thing that both of these incidents have in common is that the women involved both have Fibromyalgia.
Firbomyalgia, like many chronic pain conditions, is a relatively invisible illness. Unless it causes you to have a mobility issue and you need a walking aid, like me, Fibromyalgia goes relatively unseen by most.
Pain is an incredibly inhibiting thing, and I would not wish it on my worst enemy. It’s exhausting, depressing, demoralising, anxiety inducing, mobility hindering and aggravating. Having an invisible illness and having people constantly question ‘how disabled you actually are’ can just add to problems. This is why it is essential to listen to those in pain, rather than just dismissing them because of their appearance; ever heard of ‘never judge a book by it’s cover’? The lessons we were taught in childhood should still apply today.
Those with an invisible illness and chronic pain must also realise that, for people who have never experienced pain 24/7, it can be virtually impossible to comprehend. I know that I understand how odd it must seem to some, most people only have experiences of short term pain and the fact that invisible illnesses even exist can baffle people. However, as much as I can forgive ignorance of a condition, I could never stand by what was done to the women above. Ignorance doesn’t justify cruelty.
So, just remember when you see someone park in a disability spot and they seem perfectly okay, remember, with pain, all is not what it seems.
Sorry that I have not posted in so long! I’ve missed a lot of school recently due to pain and I could not justify working on anything else but school work. Hopefully the summer will be kind to me and I’ll be able to do other things (like this!).