More Bureaucracy, Discovering the Fourth “P” and The Gift

Earlier in the day, I went to the doctor’s office and picked up the paperwork necessary to get a temporary handicap placard. I had to go to an entirely different building downtown to get this. Obviously, the DMV wouldn’t deal with handicap placards for cars—that would just be silly. I was pretty amazed at how inaccessible the building was for those with disabilities seeing as how that is one of the main reasons for business. Once again, I had to crutch a long distance as well as go up four separate flights of stairs. Granted, there were only about 3-4 steps in each flight so not gigantic but still rather inconvenient. It was not clear where the handicap ramp was.

disability placard

You can see the several sets of small stairs. Going up stairs is much easier than down so it wasn’t too daunting.

Once inside, I found out I had to go to the other side of the building to get to the office I needed. This was another long trek but at least there was a ramp and an elevator to the second floor. I got in line and waited, standing on one foot, as usual. A bunch of people came in behind me. I had been there for a while and I was finally at the front. The guy at the back of the line asked where the front of the line was. I said I was at the front of the line and he said, well, that guy just walked up to that window, indicating he went out of turn. I looked over at the guy who had cut the line, smiled and said, “Hmmm, well, I guess karma will get him” and I turned back around to wait. I felt a small surge of anger and thought, what a jerk. It was a selfish thing to do and it was out of my control. I could only control my reaction and it wasn’t worth getting upset about. I guess some people don’t think about other people’s circumstances. I will certainly remember to be even more cognizant of other people’s needs and accommodate them whenever possible. Once again, it is the little things that can really make a difference. I took a deep breath and continued to wait.

I was finally called and I gave the woman my paperwork to get the placard. She entered the information and then went and had a long chat with someone. I assumed it was her supervisor. I figured that probably wasn’t good news. She came back and said, I’m sorry, I just found out that we’re out of the placards, that’s what took me so long. I sat there and just stared at her, probably with my mouth open not saying anything except maybe, Huh? I didn’t know what that meant for me. She said it wasn’t just this office; the ENTIRE STATE was out of handicap placards. Oh. Great. Ok. So…what is the next step?

She told me that they could mail it to me. She said they might come in tomorrow or maybe some other time. When that other time would be is anyone’s guess. I couldn’t believe it. How does an entire state run out of handicap placards? Wild. I got a number for customer service so I could check up on it and she also was nice enough to give me a copy of the paper work. I thanked her and left. I will check the mail and wait for it to show up. Fortunately, I am not in dire need of one of these placards. I feel really bad for the people who are. On the way out, a woman coming in saw me, turned around and walked half way back down the hall to hold the door open for me. I gave her a big smile, thanked her and told her to have a nice day. She made up for the jerk that cut the line.

Dealing with all this red tape has made me somewhat cranky and tired. I always go into these situations mentally prepared to wait (have Patience), expect problems (and Persistently ask how they can be solved) and that other people may be rude (and I will still remain Pleasant). It’s important to keep things in perspective and know there are people out there that are way worse off than me. I guess that is my fourth “P” now—Perspective on any given situation.

I am really pleased that I completed these tasks and hope that the placard shows up in the mail before I am completely healed and can walk again. It will be much more convenient to be able to park closer to entrances. In all honesty, I actually enjoy crutching around and getting a bit of exercise. I am grateful I have the strength and stamina to be able to get around if need be.

I’ve always been grateful for the ability to walk and move on my own. I would always take the stairs and never push the handicap access on the door because I was glad that I could do it on my own. I’ve never taken mobility for granted. I feel this even more strongly now. I remember a few months back, I was with my nieces and they asked me why we couldn’t take the elevator one flight up. I said to them, “Because we have two good legs and we should all be grateful that we can use them—now march up those stairs!” I still feel the same way now.

Although I cannot do many things, and stairs are scarier than ever, I am grateful for the things I can do. I am grateful for all the people that continuously ask if I need anything and readily help me when I do. The world is full of kind, generous people—much more so than mean, selfish ones. I am grateful that I can experience this on a daily basis and give thanks to those strangers that are kind and learn tolerance for those who aren’t. This, I believe, is part of ‘the gift’ of this injury.

Also, an added bonus for the day was that I probably crutched nearly a mile so I got a good workout in without even trying! Hopefully that will make up for not being able to stick to my workout schedule today. I’ll discuss what I am doing for workouts and what the schedule is in an upcoming post.

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2 thoughts on “More Bureaucracy, Discovering the Fourth “P” and The Gift

  1. Pingback: Some Perspective on This Week | Supine Musings…NEW and IMPROVED Tales from OFF the Couch!

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