The handicap placard for vehicles: I had mixed emotions when Jaycee's came in the mail a year ago. It was a sad reality that my child was deemed "handicapped" but also glad that this would make life a little easier in some ways.
I initially asked Jaycee's doctor about getting the placard because Jaycee's lung issues really impacted our trips out.
- If the weather is really hot or really cold, on family outings my husband would have to drop Jaycee and I off close to the entrance to help her breathing. Just a few minutes in freezing air or humid air can make her wheeze.
- If I go to a shopping mall or a large store, Jaycee needs to use her stroller because she can't walk long distances well.
- In a large grocery store, I have to push Jaycee in her stroller while pulling the shopping cart behind us. It's a very tiring outing!
I didn't know if she'd be eligible for the placard that would allow us to park closer to buildings but based upon her many lung issues and her diagnosis of Down syndrome, she was eligible.
I had no idea that when I applied for the placard that I would receive it right when Jaycee was in the hospital for some serious health issues. When we received the placard, she was actually wheelchair bound and unable to walk. Talk about good timing! In time, she got her skills back, but still the placard has been beneficial when Jaycee has been sick and in the aforementioned situations.
I did feel strange when I placed that handicap placard on my rear view mirror. I felt like I was a hanging a sign that said, "My child is disabled." It felt odd for a long time. But, now I have gotten use to it. She needs the shorter walking distances. She needs this perk when it's hard for her to breathe. It may be hard for this mom to face some hard truths about Jaycee's conditions at times, but facing them and moving forward helps our whole family.