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Letters to the Editor Aug. 02, 2011

Some may not look handicapped, but don’t assume that they aren’t

I’d like to reply to George Burr’s July 29 letter, “Some who use handicapped licenses don’t seem to need them”) regarding  disabled parking plates for people without limps.

Not everyone who has a handicap plate has a visible handicap. People with bad hearts and severe respiratory problems also have them.

Mr. Burr, I have a handicap plate. I have had it for 10 years. You may not see me limp so much now, because in the past year I have had both knees replaced. The hip is still a problem, but more sporadically. Arthritis is something that can be worse at varying times, especially when it is cold, wet and windy.

Being able to park close to the store is a blessing when it’s bad. It can mean the difference between getting everything you need, or only grabbing a couple most needed items because you hurt so much you have to quit and go home.

If you want to complain about this issue, how about those who park in handicapped zones who have no right — no plate or placard — who seem to think, “I'll only be a minute, it won't matter.”

It mattered a lot to me a couple years ago on Christmas Eve, when I went to ShopSmart in severe pain from bone-on bone knees — when it was raining hard — and no handicapped spots were open — two of them occupied with cars with no plate or placard identifying them as eligible.

Now, whether or not I take a handicapped spot depends on how much pain I have. Pain control is difficult for me, because I am allergic to all arthritis meds, and  choose not to continually take heavy-duty controlled drugs on a regular basis.

So before you gripe about others, stop and realize that you don’t know their whole story. If your doctor refused to sign for you, I’m sorry — he must have felt you really did not need it!

Martha Williams

Crescent City

Niece with MS appears healthy, but shopping often exhausts her

Regarding George Burr’s July 29 letter, “Some who use handicapped licenses don’t seem to need them,” my niece in Fresno is a young mother who has a handicap parking permit.

She looks great, but has multiple sclerosis. Often she is exhausted after shopping. But she is not yet in a wheelchair.

People have remarked to her that she is young and healthy, “Why the permit?” She just smiles and says, “Hope you stay healthy.”

Maralou Ellis

Smith River

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