People think I am a little strange because of the emphatic joyfulness and praise that I revel in when I find the perfect parking spot. I just don’t think we appreciate these things enough. Perhaps it is because I have a self- diagnosed mental illness I like to call “parking- anxiety.” Maybe it was already a thing but I like to think that I discovered it because I am a genuine sufferer of such an ailment. I can hear the cries of support and solidarity of my fellow carer givers, support workers, friends, family and anyone else who doesn’t have their own designated parking spot at a busy facility. Trying to find a parking spot in a busy city where street parking is your only option, is not going to bring out the best in you. You or your passenger may not be able to walk very far so parking close to your destination is your only choice. I’d like you to take a moment or two and feel my pain.
Earlier this year, Paul needed to attend a follow- up appointment at the hand clinic in a very busy city centre located near a hospital, surrounded by several large health- related businesses with no isolated parking spots for patients only. Let’s face it, if you are requiring health- related assistance, you are not going to get bothered by a lack of parking on top of everything else you’re going through as you circle the carpark trying to catch the eye of someone who is walking to their car in hopes they will move quickly so you can jump in their spot. Yeah, sounds like a hoot. But I not only had to find a parking spot, I also had to make sure that I found a spot where I could safely unload my wheelchair- bound husband from our vehicle where the only way he can exit said vehicle is through the rear- folding ramp on the backside of the car.
Finally someone leaves! But, alas, there is no way Paul would be able to get out from the car. Cars were parked too close together so I have no choice but to continue doing the loop around all the backstreets. I finally give up and pull over several, yet quieter, streets away. I parked dangerously close to the street corner but I had no choice. I had to let Paul and his posse out and instruct them to start heading towards the hand clinic. “I’ll drive around until I can find someone to park this thing,” I tell them. Why? Why do they make us come here? Are there no other hand clinics whose building infrastructure caters for people like us? Note for later, email local council members and complain.
Finally, I found a spot not too far from the clinic. It would mean moving again to a quieter street to load Paul back into the car right after I pay a ridiculous amount of money in parking fees. Needless to say, the appointment was over in 5 minutes and I couldn’t help myself. I unloaded a lengthy but necessary rant to the reception staff about the lack of parking facilities. “Am I seriously the only one who has issues with parking?” I asked them. All three reception ladies looked at me with pity, sympathising with my plight as they drag their gazes over to Paul. “Yes, everyone complains about the parking here,” said one of the older ladies. Oh good. Im not the only one. So what are you doing about it?
The youngest of the trio busily types on her computer before looking up and saying, “Not sure why they sent you here. We have another clinic much closer to your home. It has a large parking lot with lot’s of disabled parking spaces. Its free too.”
Grrrrrrr. You wonder why I drink.
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