RICH MAN’S DISEASE, MY FOOT
I’ll cut to the chase. If you’re injured and can’t walk properly, you still can’t park in a handicapped spot without a permit. End of story.
It was a day just like any other day, except one of my feet was as big as a football upon awakening.
“That’s funny,” I said, not laughing. “I don’t remember falling, or banging it. I shall visit the local masseuse this early evening and that will be the end of that.”
By noon, I could not walk, and the pain was so severe there were sparkles before my eyes.
My then-girlfriend, a home health aide –
snapped into action and slung me over her shoulder, dumping me, incoherent, into a waiting room at a local podiatrist’s office.
Which foot was it? My right. My drivin’ foot.
They took blood, they x-rayed, they pronounced “gout.”
You get it from being thousands of pounds “over-weight” or ingesting an inordinate amount of red meats, or organ meats, or shellfish. None of which applied to me.
I had become dehydrated, and the blood crystals, whatever those are, had elevated and clustered in the joint of my right big toe, where, they say, the pain was/is something similar to childbirth. One’s entire foot and calf expand to Violet Bureaugard dimensions and thou art screwed. You have it for the rest of your life, and you must manage it forever. It may flare weeks later, months or years, but you have to keep an eye out.
None of this information relieved my acute misery, of course. The doctor thus applied a numbing agent to my ankle and told me to look away. I did, while my nurse – the one holding the .45 above, which any nurse ought to have, come to think of it – held my hand. I sat and sat.
“This isn’t so bad,” I said to myself. “Modern medicine certainly is remarkable.”
The doctor thrust a needle directly into my ankle bone and it was ten times more acute than the gout. I shrieked as though pushed out a window and leapt like a fish into the air. By the time I landed, the pain was gone and the cessation of swelling had begun. Sweet relief.
I took all the pills and drank all the water and waited.
Today is the worst day, but I still drove myself to the gym and parked in a handicapped spot. I don’t know, I thought I’d go swimming or something easy. I drew the following signs and left them on the car where they’d be seen. The parking lot was almost empty and I was the only person parked in one of six handicapped spots.
Which now brings us to the thrust of this article. How does one avoid a ticket when one is temporarily, not permanently handicapped and thus won’t go down to city hall to wait on a 2-week line to obtain the necessary car badging?
The answer is – you don’t.
Nowhere is it legal to draw a sign as I’ve done and leave it visible. You have to go through the proper channels of application, or park in a regular spot and make your way as best you can to your business. Buy a cane, they say. Or crutches.