A woman who suffers from fibromyalgia is being accused of exploiting disabled parking spots at stores. During a recent shopping trip in Australia, she was confronted by an elderly man who stated she did not look sick and accused her of using the disabled park illegally. Although the woman had the proper disabled permit, the man refused to believe her.
Rosemary’s health prevents her from working, and she is forced to use the disabled parking spots at stores and other businesses. The Chronicle reports that she parked in one of these spots before doing her shopping at Dan Murphy's in Australia. Although her shopping trip was quick, she emerged from the store to find an angry elderly man demanding to know why she had taken his spot. Rosemary has the proper disability permits for parking, but the man accused her of not being sick and abusing the system.
Rosemary did not feel comfortable giving her last name to the Chronicle because of the prejudice she often faces due to her fibromyalgia. The condition makes it impossible for her to work or enjoy many activities with her family. However, she had carefully planned the shopping trip to Dan Murphy's on one of her better days. She claims the old man ruined her Christmas and reminded her of how difficult it is for others to understand the pain from fibromyalgia.
Unfortunately, Rosemary’s story is not unique in the fibromyalgia community, and there are ongoing complaints about people being confused about the disorder. Many of them have experienced others stating that they did not look sick, did not deserve disabled parking and did not need sympathy. Fibromyalgia is one of many diseases that often remains hidden beneath the surface while the person who has it is in excruciating pain.
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