Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Weight and hope

Some quotidian things that some of my M.S.-accessorized colleagues might appreciate. Or even be able to use.

If you leave your "handicapped" placard on the floor of your car, it doesn't count as "properly displayed," even if you look through the windows at just the right angle and squint just the right way and you can maybe see it underneath the whatever is sorta kinda covering it. (This definitely rates as "Duh," doesn't it?) I found a $333 ticket on my window the other day, for just that reason. Oops... sigh.

But the adventure ended just fine. At the police station (I must also commend the staff there, who were wonderfully kind and helpful ), I showed them the form-that-comes-with-the-placard, it was very clearly my placard not a borrowed one to avoid the fine... and like magic, the fine was reduced to a $25 processing charge. Which I was very happy to pay, given the context. Funnily enough, another fellow was in the station for precisely the same reason with precisely the same problem, so I guess it happens more than we might realize. Or would like to admit. And with luck, I won't "just forget" again. Ever.

One thing the officer helping me added, that's definitely worth sharing with you: He warned me that an all-too-typical ticket is issued to people who park on the "hashmarks," the diagonal blue lines that mark the "no parking" areas that are often next to handicapped spots; areas left to accommodate people who have chair lifters or other equipment to help them get in and out of the car. He says they write tickets all the time for just that... but they don't wave the fine for that. "I just forgot" might work for a missing placard, and they'll accommodate that (at least, this city will), but that doesn't fly for parking on the no-parking hashmarks. Ever.

So... driver beware. Driver be aware. (That'll be good advice for me, too; see above under "duh.")

And the search continues for my New Self-Propelled Wheelchair... I found one today that is too heavy for me to lift into my truck, until I remove the wheels (which is easy to do, and they're nice and light) and the foot rests (which is easy to do, and they're nice and light) and suddenly, the chair is unbelievably easy to hoist. I gotta do a little more shopping, but I think I may have found a solution to the Upcoming Chair Need.

But apparently, there's a price, paid in pain in dealing with the Thrall of the Antichrist—I mean the insurance company. The lighter the wheelchair, the uglier the battle becomes to get the insurance company to cover it. I understand how they might not want to provide carbon mono-filament chairs beloved of Olympic chair racers if all you need to do is get around an art museum and have a companion to push you on occasion, but the case to not use "weighs a @#$#$ing ton" and instead get "light enough for an ordinary human to lift into the trunk of pretty much any car" shouldn't demand a Presidential or papal edict. If those would even work. Apparently not, it would seem... We'll see how it goes.

Hope springs eternal. If it doesn't weigh too much, at least.

1 comment:

Muffie said...

So many times, my husband will forget to hang the h/c placard. I usually remind him, though. I wish it could stay up permanently, but it's verboten here in NJ. I also wish we had police here who would ticket those who park in the hashmarks -- I've never seen it happen. Good luck with the wheelchair search -- I think that may be my next big move!