Thursday, October 9, 2008


It's official: I'm handicapped.

When I went in to the company office recently, the long walk from the back of the company parking lot to the building, then up the elevator and through one building, then another and another all the way to my office was too much for me. By the time I got to my cubicle, my heart was pounding and the chest pains worsened. Granted, I don't have to come in often these days; mostly I work from home. But when I do have to come in, I'd like to park close to the entrance of the building. So this week I did park there – and got a note from Security warning me not park in the handicapped spots again.

I had a doctor appointment this past week to re-evaluate my health and my ability to work. I've felt ill with my lupus for so long that it's now "normal," but there is no way I could work an 8-hour day, not even if I weren't homeschooling the kids. I'm just too fatigued and my heart hurts much of the time. I feel comfortable working my six hours per day from home, but more than that would set my health back, probably to the point where I could hardly work at all.

So the doctor extended my part-time disability for another ten weeks. Meanwhile, I've asked for part-time status at work to relieve me from the pressure of getting well and getting back to work full-time. Part-time is all I can handle, and I'd like to have that be my official status. But we shall see. This is about being handicapped.

What a strange and unwanted status: Handicapped. Impaired. Disadvantaged. These words apply to me, a "supermom" who until lately was a full-time employee, mother, wife, housekeeper, Sunday school teacher, and singer in the church choir. I was a volunteer newsletter writer and photographer, and I went on international short-time mission trips almost annually. Sometimes twice a year. And I wrote about these experiences for my company's blog on a volunteer basis. I was a mom who took on homeschooling as well (after dropping the choir and Sunday school roles). Yes, I was someone who burned the candle at both ends – and still had time to read.

And now I have a tag in my car that allows me to park as close as possible to a building so I don't exhaust myself...

My doctor had offered to fill in the paperwork so I could get a handicapped parking permit the last time I saw him. I refused. During this week’s visit, I requested it myself.

So it’s official: I'm handicapped. And I have the tag to prove it.

1 comment:

a kelly said...

I accepted this designation with reluctance and out of necessity.
And I am continually grateful and surprised by the lessons I've learned and the people who have crossed my path on my journey to wellness. Yes, meaning comes from suffering if my eyes are open to it. Yes, sometimes I'm not open and just want to be well again. Right now.
Praying for your health.

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
— Albert Pike, Scottish Rite Freemason (1809-1891)