When you're down and out, and having a hard time getting around, that little blue tag hanging in your rear view mirror initially seems to remove a huge burden. But, while initially created to make life more accessible for those in need, the handicap tag is often over-relied on to the point it becomes a crutch, not a boost to get better. Which is why I've created an official policy against the issuance of this plate for my patients. Allow me to elaborate on the main reasons why:
1. It is a disservice to You, my patient
Research shows that even the most degenerative condition can be helped by walking as well as other exercise. Most doctors recognize this but they are fearful that they will upset the patient. I, on the other hand, have chosen to work from a position of tough love instead of acting out of fear. I will tell you what is right even if it is not what you want to hear. More steps during your day means more calories burned. Most Americans could stand to lose a few pounds. And parking further out will contribute to keeping you fit and trim.
2. It is a disservice to your Car
Parking further out in the lot where there are fewer cars means fewer dings in your car from other careless drivers. (This could ultimately save you money at resale or trade-in time.)
3. It is a disservice to your nerves
Research shows that exercise helps reduce stress. Parking in the front where all the traffic of people and cars is clearly more stressful. With the increased traffic, you increase your chances of backing into someone or someone backing into you. Dealing with the insurance companies after an accident is certainly added stress that none of us need.
4. It is an affront to your dignity
I disbelieve in any system that denigrates the elderly. By getting a handicapped tag when you really don’t need one, you are saying I am giving up. You could choose to stand up and say I am not going to let arthritis rule my life. Or you could choose to find a different chiropractor who will give you what you want out of fear of losing you as a patient. I choose to keep my dignity, your dignity, and my reputation by remaining firm in my stance.
5. I can think of two patients in my practice that truly need a handicapped license
One has Multiple Sclerosis, uses a walker to walk, and must drag both of her feet to walk because the nerves are so destroyed that she can no longer move her lower legs. The other patient is 98 years old and also uses a walker. She no longer drives herself and would never ask for a handicapped license. She would simply say “I don’t need it!”. By the way, this lady still works 3 days a week. If that's not some perspective, I'm not sure what is.
Dr. David Sanders is a Functional Health Practitioner, and owner of Classic Functional Health. He derived a passion for the industry after some devastating family diagnosis left him searching for answers that he just wasn’t getting the traditional way. An avid student of Biochemistry, Immunology, and Endocrinology, he stays on the cutting edge of any new developments and how he can apply this knowledge to his patients. His primary focus is in helping patients who suffer with chronic and degenerative conditions.