Inspired by Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.

2.) We’re going around the table and it’s your turn to share what you are thankful for…go!


To say that I am thankful for my husband, child and I being able to be together after being apart for six months is obvious.

And so something happened to me on Tuesday for which I am highly thankful for:

On Tuesday I got my Ohio handicapped placard.

I had one in New Jersey and was literally too sick to be able to get one in Massachusetts, but now after nearly two months of living here I have gotten one in Ohio.

I moved here with some of my diseases such as Lupus, Interstitial Cystitis, and Fibromyalgia starting to flare, and now due to the swinging temperatures of fall, Myofascial Pain and Costochondritis have followed.  I am blessed as to having a Primary Care Physician willing to write a prescription for one.  I received his Rx last week but have been too busy to fill out the application.

On Monday I had an appointment to see a Rheumatologist at The Cleveland Clinic.  I had to park far away and I had a long walk once I got into the hospital.  I arrived at the doctor’s office barely able to walk, shaking with pain.  I nearly fell getting on the scale and I had extreme difficulty getting on the exam table.  I tried not to scream.

After the doctor’s appointment I had to take the elevator and go to the laboratory for blood work.  When I was finished I asked the phlebotomist if I could get an escort and a wheelchair as I was now unable to walk back to my car. The phlebotomist took me herself, dressed only in her uniform.  When I thanked her for her kindness she said, “My daughter has Myofascial Pain and I understand what you are going through.”

I realized that I MUST get my placard as soon as possible.  That I was only getting worse and how would I shop for the holidays?  My heart sank when I saw on the application that it could take up to ten business days.  Hoping to speed things up a bit and to save on the cost of a stamp, I took it to my local Bureau of Motor Vehicles.  The woman at the desk took my check for $3.50 and my application and typed a lot.  “Okay”, she said, handing me back some paperwork.  I took it from her and inside was a handicapped placard.  “But…I thought it would take up to ten business days.”  “Oh, no.  Not if you bring your application in person.” I had tears in my eyes and relief flooding through my body.

I am one of those people who appear not to need a handicapped placard.  You may wonder how a woman who can walk on two feet and doesn’t look sick can have the nerve to park in a handicapped space.  What you do not know is that due to my joint and hypermobility issues I am unable to use a cane.  What you do not see is that when I get into a mall, department store or a museum I must use a scooter or be pushed in a wheelchair, and I don’t even look like I deserve one of those mobility devices either.

I used to wonder, “How could this woman use another person’s handicapped placard just so she could get a good space at the mall during the holiday season?”  I used to think, “Maybe if that woman would lose some weight she wouldn’t need that scooter.”  I used to get angry when I saw people at Disney World in a wheelchair get to be pushed to the front of the line when they were fully able to get up to walk to the ride.

And now…

I don’t.



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About mamasick

Emily Cullen is a pen-name. I suffer from chronic illnesses and diseases which include Bipolar Disorder, Asthma, Diabetes and Fibromyalgia. I had battled Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis but there is no longer evidence of me having these diseases and my Rheumatologist has declared them to be "burnt out" of my system. I am separated from my husband, “Grant”. Our son, “Tyler” was born in September of 2006 and suffers from tics and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and is delayed in fine and gross motor skills. In my blog I seek to let sick moms know that they are not the only ones going through this, and to educate people about what can happens when one becomes catastrophically ill. I also strive to break down stereotypes of what a “Welfare Mom” is like. Anything that I have gone through due to being sick, is written on the pages of Mama Sick.
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