Living with a chronic illness is bad enough, but living with an invisible chronic illness is horrible beyond words.
I recently got my permanent disabled parking plates for my vehicle. I often feel guilty using them because of the looks people give me when I get out of my truck. You know the look? The "how dare you park there when you are obviously healthy" look. The look that makes you want to start limping and dragging your leg as you walk. The look that makes you want to explain why you dare to park in that sacred space. The look that makes you want to scream "I dare to park here because I hurt all over, my feet feel like they're on fire and I'm walking on glass, my lower back and neck feel like someone is stabbing me constantly, and my head feels like it's about to explode!"
Yes I look normal! I don't look like I fall under the permanently disabled category! In fact there are days when I don't use the spaces provided, but I'm so happy they are there when I need them. Please quit looking at me as if I'm doing something wrong.
I think that the fact that the signs have a wheelchair on them doesn't help those of us with an invisible illness. Most people see those signs and think only those in a wheelchair should be allowed to park there. Even my plates have the wheelchair symbol on them. I think if they changed the signs to something like this:
|Warning! Pain All Over!|