I’m almost seven months pregnant, I have asthma, and just found out I have cardiac arrhythmia. My heart rate gets out of hand spontaneously and also when I’m exerting too much force to the point where I can pass out. I can’t take medication to keep it under control because of my pregnancy.
I’ve been wanting to get permission for handicap parking even if its just temporary while I’m in college because I have to walk very far and it’s triggering my palpitations and I’ve recently started feeling my legs start to give out so I have to sit down or stop halfway on stairs and stuff and then continue.
The only thing holding me back is that even if my doctor signs for it I’ll feel guilty for getting one and that I’ll look bad or selfish or lazy. Should I go ahead and get the permission for handicap parking or should I save those spaces for other people who probably need it more?
I think you should get a permit.
Parking permits exist to make it possible for people to go where they need to go, when a disability or medical condition makes it impossible or unsafe to park in the regular spots.
A lot of people have permits because it is not safe for them to walk across a parking lot, or because they can’t safely walk those distances. It’s an accepted legitimate category. If you’re at serious risk of passing out, falling, or being unable to continue walking in a parking lot, that’s a major safety issue. Being unable to get out of the way of cars is not safe. It’s not safe for you, and it’s not safe for the drivers either.
If/when you get a permit, it’s good to be mindful of which spots you are parking in. Not all handicapped parking spots are the same. Some are pretty much the same as regular parking spots, except closer to the door. Others are designed for people who use a wheelchair lift to get out of their van. Those spots have extra space marked off with lines for the lift. If there are other spaces available that you can use, you shouldn’t park in the van spaces.
tl;dr Accessible parking permits are for people who need them, not just people who fit a particular image of what disability looks like. If your condition means that you need a parking permit in order to be able to go places safely, it’s ok to try to get one.