Scared to use my new blue badge

steri
steri Member Posts: 2
edited 11. Sep 2018, 09:48 in Living with Arthritis archive
I recently just got accepted for a blue badge.

Background about me:
- I'm young, only 22 years old. I feel as though people will instantly look at me and judge me or say something because I'm using a blue badge
- I have misaligned knee caps, which cause pain constantly when walking. I have learnt to manage this but only by getting use to the pain
- I also have arthritis that was caused by the knee caps (but already had it in other places, like my hands)

The majority of the time I will not be using this badge, because I can manage okay like I have been for my life.

But I feel like I'll just be massively judged for using it on bad days - for example, I completely struggle with hills. They make me out of breath, with my knees having a burning pain and after walking up a hill my legs feel like jelly.

I feel like I'll have to justify using it every single time, as it would be extremely helpful when I need it on a steep hill, etc. For example, my town centre is on a complete hill so having the parking could help me park in a better location so I do not have to walk up the hill to get to the centre

Am I just being paranoid, or do people not care? Even my parents just say "You're too young to have a blue badge", and usually just refer to their own arthritis, but they never have understood how much it can be bad.

Comments

  • moderator
    moderator Moderator Posts: 4,086
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Steri and welcome to the Arthritis Forums.

    Blue Badges is a topic that regularly crops up here and you will find lots of support for your situation from members who often encounter similar situations.

    You may like to read the full thread “A 19 Year Old Living with Arthritis...an Invisible Condition”, as well as listen to Amber’s linked podcast:

    https://arthritiscareforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?t=48729

    I look forward to reading your posts to the forums.
    Best wishes
    Brynmor
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,271
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello steri and welcome from me, too.

    Of course you're not too young to have a Blue Badge. I got my first one when I was about your age. It was so long ago they were orange back then :lol:

    But I was a young person with arthritis (Rheumatoid in my case) and the value of it! There was many a time when, if I couldn't use it, I just had to go home because I couldn't walk far enough to park in a 'normal' spot then walk back again.

    Alas people may well judge you and you might need to grow a thick skin. It will make you stronger in the long run. But you yourself know, and your issuing authority knows, that you need the badge. They don't give them out easily. So, be strong and confident. We should not have to apologise for being disabled.

    As for your parents....I would have hoped for a more sensitive and understanding attitude. Many old people (and I am now an old person :lol: ) consider Blue Badges to be their preserve. If only :roll: Many people also believe that only old people get arthritis. Again, if only :mrgreen:

    Please use your badge whenever you need to and don't feel any need to apologise. But - and I don't mean this in a nasty or bitchy sense - don't let your parents use it for themselves as it will be you who suffers by having it taken away for misuse.

    I hope the badge helps you to have some good, fun experiences. Go for it!
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I have had a BB for a number of years now, I think I was around 45 when I received my first one. I have psoriatic and osteoarthritis plus fibromyalgia, I use walking aids because I have mobility issues and need the wider space to unload my various bit of kit. Like you when I am having a better day I don't use it but I am considerably older, have around forty affected joints and, after twenty plus years of living with arthritis, don''t give a fig for the opinions of others; if they had what I have they would be incapable of coherent thought, never mind judging me.

    I am bemused by people, both older and younger than me, who have BBs yet appear to be able to jog into the supermarket if they so wished, I have to remember that BBs can be awarded to all ages for a wide range of conditions and of course don't forget those who don't have a badge but park in the spaces because they won't be long. :roll:

    There was a severely disabled comic at the Edinburgh Festival this year who wore a T-shirt stating 'I'm only in it for the parking.' which, unlike his act, made me laugh. My friends like going out with me because I can park where they can't. :wink: DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • jennand
    jennand Member Posts: 121
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Steri, as Sticky says, you may need to grow a thick skin. Like the others, I only use it on occasions but I have had a couple of comments or I can feel daggers in my back ( you develop a sixth sense about these things). For example, if I go to the supermarket for a “ big shop” I often use my badge to park near the entrance. I have RA in my hands so find it difficult to push a full trolley very far. But this means that when I arrive and park the car, on getting out of it I look able bodied. ( at first, I even limped when I went into the supermarket ). I did hope that people would understand that not all disabilities are visible, but they don’t. After ignoring a couple of comments I then developed a retort. If someone says the inevitable line “ you don’t look disabled”, I reply, “ well you don’t look stupid either, but it takes all sorts”. I shouldn’t have to do this of course , but it does annoy me. And some of the comments have been made by other B.B. holders, you would think they would be more understanding.
  • Helenbothknees
    Helenbothknees Member Posts: 487
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It's absolutely no business of anyone else. Ignore them. If they don't like it, it's their problem not yours.
  • palo
    palo Member Posts: 239
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    steri wrote:
    I recently just got accepted for a blue badge.

    Background about me:
    - I'm young, only 22 years old. I feel as though people will instantly look at me and judge me or say something because I'm using a blue badge
    - I have misaligned knee caps, which cause pain constantly when walking. I have learnt to manage this but only by getting use to the pain
    - I also have arthritis that was caused by the knee caps (but already had it in other places, like my hands)

    The majority of the time I will not be using this badge, because I can manage okay like I have been for my life.

    But I feel like I'll just be massively judged for using it on bad days - for example, I completely struggle with hills. They make me out of breath, with my knees having a burning pain and after walking up a hill my legs feel like jelly.

    I feel like I'll have to justify using it every single time, as it would be extremely helpful when I need it on a steep hill, etc. For example, my town centre is on a complete hill so having the parking could help me park in a better location so I do not have to walk up the hill to get to the centre

    Am I just being paranoid, or do people not care? Even my parents just say "You're too young to have a blue badge", and usually just refer to their own arthritis, but they never have understood how much it can be bad.


    I was diagnosed with a rare condition when I was 35, but it is not something someone can see. It can be fatal, as all my muscles can stop working, the only time I go out is when my muscles are working, so people only see me when I am well, when I first got the blue badge, like you, I thought they can see me walking about and moving and will think I don't deserve this.

    I do and so do you.

    Stop imagining what other people are thinking and focus on getting on with your life, it is hard enough as it is without carrying the weight of other people's expectations. I am pretty sure that you spend a lot of your time stuck indoors when you are not well enough to go out as I do.

    Good luck. I think you need to build up more self-esteem and confidence but that may be something that comes with age.
  • Airwave!
    Airwave! Member Posts: 2,427
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I spent most of my life giving oa a dam good ignoring, till I couldn't cope anymore then I still denied it and ten years ago a BB turned up and I wouldn't use it. These things are given to us for our bad days, eventually I had to use it, accept it, until it became 'normal'. You will stand out only if you truely do, using a BB is not a standout topic.

    Finding a space to use it is another thing!
  • turtle
    turtle Member Posts: 30
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Airwave! wrote:
    I spent most of my life giving oa a dam good ignoring, till I couldn't cope anymore then I still denied it and ten years ago a BB turned up and I wouldn't use it. These things are given to us for our bad days, eventually I had to use it, accept it, until it became 'normal'. You will stand out only if you truely do, using a BB is not a standout topic.

    Finding a space to use it is another thing!

    I am curious about what a Blue Badge is - is it a marker for having a disability? If so, I wish we had something like that here in the US, although people with disability here are often looked down on and even mocked.

    Are disabilities accepted and respected in the UK?
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    A Blue Badge is a card that allows the holder to park in marked bays, usually signified by a yellow stick wheelchair and person painted on the ground. You have to prove you qualify for one and their issue is under the remit of the Local Authority.

    People with disabilities over here are also looked down upon and mocked, they easy targets. On the rare occasions I receive a comment I give as good as I get but for those with mental health issues or low IQ it's a different story. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,271
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You do have blue 'Handicap' placards in U.S. turtle. They are for parking nearer to shops etc which, in malls, have their own handicap parking places. I use my Blue Badge when over there but I have also downloaded a page from your government site asking that the state will permit me to use it. I've never been challenged but I wish ours would hang from the rear view mirror as yours do because they are so much more visible there. (Mind you, come to think of it, I don't think I could reach my rear view mirror to hang it on :lol:

    But, no, alas there are people everywhere who look down on disability. With the Blue Badges it is often because there is abuse of them. People use them when not entitled. Sometimes they use a relative's badge or I've heard they exchange hands for £2,000 in London :shock: This gets the genuine users a bad name.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • Airwave!
    Airwave! Member Posts: 2,427
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Mine got stolen and right under a cctv, needless to say nothing happened over it.