Wednesday, February 3, 2010


It's time for a rant!!!

So today, Eddie and I went to the naval hospital to take care of some paperwork ('cause we sorta forgot to do it when we got here over a year ago...oops). Considering it was a) medical, b) military, and c) insurance-related, we anticipated a lengthy, aggravating visit. Surprisingly enough, it was squared away in about 5 minutes. Hooray!

On our way out, though, I saw something that made me do such a double take, I nearly had to go back into said hospital and visit the emergency room for whiplash.


Seriously. W. T. F.

I didn't get a chance to count them, but there must have been close to a dozen of these spaces. (I'm not exaggerating, there were at least ten of them)

Now, I can live with the Expectant Mother parking. I question its necessity, but...look, it gets to be 95 degrees and 100% humidity here, so I can see the logic behind offering up front parking for a pregnant woman. When you've been hormonally hijacked, dizziness and fainting can be issues, especially in the heat. Plus, it's not uncommon for pregnant women to develop blood pressure issues, so...yeah. I can live with it. It's a legitimate physical limitation.

But...Patient with Children? Seriously? Bear in mind, this wasn't the emergency room parking lot. This was just the lot outside the main entrance.

Isn't this getting just a wee bit out of hand?

What about patients with elderly passengers who don't qualify for handicapped spots, but have difficulty getting around nonetheless? What about patients who are coming to the hospital because they are ill or in pain, but have neither a handicapped permit nor kids in tow? Having visited hospitals on numerous occasions for various tests, procedures, and other such things, I fail to see the logic of making me hoof it across the parking lot on an injured knee while a mother who's coming for a mammogram has the privilege of parking up front simply because she has children with her. Or having an asthmatic make the hike, only to have to stop and catch their breath by leaning on the minivan containing "just here for our medical screening" Mom and kids. Better yet, a heavily pregnant woman who's having blood pressure related difficulties and can't find one of the up front spots because they're all occupied by parents whose only "handicap" is a couple of school-aged kids.

For that matter, define "with children". Does this include small children only? School-aged children? Teenagers? Does the inconvenience magically evaporate on your youngest child's 18th birthday? I often joke that I'm not married, I'm a single mom of can I park there if I have Eddie with me?

Don't get me wrong, folks. I understand that wrangling children - especially very young children - can be quite a chore, particularly if you're already in a situation that requires visiting a hospital. My hat is off to parents who can handle that, because I certainly can't.

But children are not a handicap, nor are they a golden ticket.

Now, some people reading this might be thinking, "So you have to walk a few extra feet. What's the big deal?"

Well, that's precisely my point. Think about it.

Now, this isn't the end of the world, of course. Not a crisis, not something that's going to cause me to write letters or picket or some over reactive nonsense. It irritated me enough to warrant a rant, but, meh, I have no problem walking across a damned parking lot. I'm just tired of the "well, this should get me front of the line privileges!" attitude. With parents, with kids, with people in general. Enough with special privileges and accommodations. Many people who come to the hospital have reasons why making that walk across the parking lot is no picnic. That's why they're at the hospital. But I see absolutely no reason why "Patients with Children" should be given priority parking over leg injuries, back injuries, or respiratory issues.

And as a parting thought, I have to say my heart goes out to the first woman who has to walk past those spaces on her way out after...well, I think you can fill in the rest.


  1. ...that is beyond idiotic. Parents with young children usually have strollers. They can walk. Children too old for a stroller have functioning legs of their own. They can walk too. If the child has a huge medical emergency, well they should be arriving in an ambulance so still no need for a special parking spot. Expectant mothers I can support. Elderly, injuries or conditions that make walks difficult, totally understand. But a mother with kids? Pardon my french, but Fuck That. They can walk just like the rest of us.

  2. Oh I haven't gotten to disagree with you in so long. I am giddy with excitement.

    During pregnancy(ies) I never felt much need to use those spots but there have been times they were lifesavers when I had kids.

    Never have I had to take my elderly grandmother to the hospital or pharmacy with me when I was sick. There have been times though I had to go with children. When I had a 10 month ond to carry, a two year old whose hand I had to hold as well as a five and six year old I head to herd with my feet if they wandered out towards traffic while feeling like I had been run over by a truck I was eternally grateful for those spots.

    Also they are courtesy spots. There is no ticket issued if someone else parks in them. It is not like handicap parking where you need a special permit to park there. If someone else felt their need was pressing enough to park there then nothing could be done about it.