Utah Woman With Lupus, Arthritis Receives Nasty Note For Using Disability Parking Spot

Photo Courtesy Ethan Schlemer Facebook.

CENTERVILLE, Utah, July 18, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — A Centerville woman who suffers from lupus and painful arthritis said she is still reeling after finding a nasty note stuck to her car in the parking lot of a local pharmacy.

Janna Kay Jensen said she stopped at her local Walmart around 1 p.m. Monday, and went inside the store to the pharmacy. When she returned, someone had left her a note swearing at her for not being handicapped.

“Ass***e. You are not handicapped, my husband is and we can hardly find spots to park because of inconsiderate people like you,” read the note. “Thanks for your inconsideration.”

Jensen was so upset over the note she took to social media to express her feelings over the incident.

“For those of you that don’t know, I am legally disabled and have been since I was 22. I have lupus, and one of the great joys in my life is the arthritis that I have in almost every joint in my body,” Jensen said in the post.

“Every step I take is painful, but I still hike, bike, and, yes, even run when I can.”

Jensen said Monday was one of those days that she decided park just a little closer to the entrance because sometimes saving a few steps makes a big difference.

“I was diagnosed with lupus when I was 12, but didn’t become legally disabled until I was 22 because the arthritis had gotten so bad I have difficulty walking,” Jensen told Gephardt Daily.

“I have actual handicap plates, not just a placard, as I am permanently disabled.”

Jensen said she tries to stay active, because the more active she stays, the fewer and less painful her flare ups become.

“I guess I don’t look the part,” Jensen goes on in her post.

“Not everyone who is disabled is in a wheelchair or uses a walker. For this woman to try to shame me for using a parking spot designated for people like me is despicable.”

Notes like the one Jensen found on her car are not uncommon. People often leave notes expressing their opinions if they believe someone who is not disabled has parked in one of the spots designated for those who are.

In June, a similar note was left on Ethan Schlemer’s car, parked at a Walmart in Timnath, Colo. Schlemer walks with the use of a prosthetic leg since an above-the-knee amputation a couple years back, a result of his battle with cancer.

Ethan note
Photo Courtesy Ethan Schlemer Facebook.

“I was taking my handicap placard off of my rear view mirror when I found this lovely little note on my windshield,” Schlemer said in a post on his Facebook page.

“If you guys see my car on FB, please tell them thanks for the compliment. I guess I must be doing something right if people can’t tell I’m handicapped.”

Jensen said she doesn’t think anyone should ever presume to know what others struggle with.

“Not all disabilities are visible,” Jensen said.

17 COMMENTS

  1. Jennifer, so true. I have that problem all of the time, just because I do not look sick. I remember walking down the aisle as a bridesmaid at my friend’s wedding. the lights are so bright and cameras shining in my face made my hands tremor. People left thinking I was nervous but it was very hurtful especially since most of them knew I had lupus. people can be very insensitive for one reason or another –mostly ignorance. but there is no excuse 4 outright rudeness and assumption that you were not handicapped

  2. I too have a handicapp placard for many many years.. I have post polio, fibromyalgia, a blood disease and other issues that affect my whole body. Some days I can walk, some days I can’t. People who get a handicapp placard deserve one.. They do not give them out unless you really need it. I have gotten out of my car.. Then hubby gets out.. Some one yells at us for parking where we did. We ignored it.. Hubby opens trunk to get out my electric scooter.., person walked away.. People are ignorant.

  3. My sister was had spina bifida and therefore in a wheelchair. I know the frustration it can be to find a handicap parking spot. However I never worried about people who have a handicap license or plaque. It is very frustrating when cars without either would park in a designated spot. It’s sad when people judges others.

  4. My mom has lupus. She has been told for many years she could have handicapped plates. But, she won’t because of people like this. She is already self conscious and for her to receive a letter like this would crush her.there have been days that we will drive around waiting for a close stall to open our I will drop her off at the door first. People need to understand wheelchairs aren’t the only disabilities.

  5. I’ve had the same thing happen to me and my mom I have chronic back and neck pain .some days I can barley walk . And my mom has empyazemia sure has a handicapped placard and I’ve had the same lady stop me and yell at me for parking in the handicapped and had notes,left on my windshield hello my mom is disabled.I would never park there if we didn’t have a reason why do people judge other people if they dont no them stop getting in people’s business.

  6. My wife had this happen to her at the grocery store after she had foot surgery. She had a Temporary tag, She came out to a note on her windshield. Some chicken shit asshole put it on there. Too Chicken shit to actually talk to her and find out that she really needed that parking space. This kind of thing has no place in our society. Don’t be a judge “mental” person leaving chicken shit notes on other peoples cars.

  7. I deal with the same.e problem. I’ve been disabled sense 2007 or let me say it this way, I finally got my disability approved in 2007. All my disabilities you can not see on the out side. I have many health problems but all of them attack my body from the inside.

  8. Being a caregiver is a hard job. Maybe the lady just blew some steem. It was disrespectful, but let’s be more kind and understanding.

  9. I realize that mistakes can be made and hopefully will not happen again but I am sure that they would not wish to make a mistake but they do happen. I feel sorrow for you but there are those who do ignore the rules and result in pain being unnecessarily caused. My family say I should not hate a person who beaks the rules but it makes me feel happier and so I will continue to do so.

  10. I’ve had this happen before, not with nasty notes, but with nasty comments, as I leave the by way of the passenger side door. They get furious for using a handicapped plaquard. I explain that I have uncontrolled epilepsy, and ask if they would rather that I drive and plow into people…or use the plaqcard and NOT drive. They always apologize. People just don’t understand hidden disabilities. Sometimes we can nicely educate them, but with them leaving notes, that’s impossible, that’s why this written article was good. It opens up ears and eyes and hopefully stops others from being JudgeMENTAL. ????

  11. I have seen some people that it “appears” they have a handicap placard just for being morbidly obese. I’m not really cool with that… They could probably use walking. I admit, I have seen other people as well that seem to be fine with handicap placards and I have found myself judging them. Thanks for the education.

    • Some people who are morbedly obese have bad back problems that make it hard to walk. I have an aunt who has been going to physical therapy and working to bring her weight down, but just because she is loosing weight, doesn’t mean that her back pain will dissapear. I worry for her and sometimes wish that she had a handicap card just until her back is better. Also, people can become morbedly obese due to medical problems due to thyroid issues. Yes, maybe some people abuse this because they are over weight, but some people actually have a hard time walking and may need a handicap sticker.

  12. Gotta love Utah. I’ve been talked at several times for NOT parking in the handicapped parking (I am permanently disabled from Desert Storm). I’ve frequently been screamed at (yes, directly) for “taking up a ‘normal’ parking space and not parking with the rest of the cripples where I belong”.

    • Oh my word! Really?? Lol it’s not funny but it is. You just can’t make some people happy. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.????

  13. People are over entitled and a bunch of children who think their shit don’t stink and only their opinion matters….
    I’ve had people actually be assholes to me for parking in handicap…. I got upset at the time because its none of their business to judge me…. Also, No little old lady it’s not ok for you to walk all the way back to the parking lot from Safeway’s front door to ask me if I was really handicap (even though my license plate clearly states that I am permanently handicap) telling me that you needed this spot… I find that hard to believe if you could walk all the way back out to my car to ask this…. Power trip much.. See I’ll pass judgment here too cause being old isn’t a disability and a right to use handicap spots…. See what I did there, she could very well have some horrible disease like I do that causes every step to be painful and yet because of her appearance I don’t think she needs it….
    I dress nice when I do go out because despite everything I still have class and I’m a fucking lady….. I shouldn’t have to look the part because of other peoples preconceived notions on what disabled looks like!

  14. My husband has become disabled this past year, and I probably should get a placard so it’s easier to get his wheelchair to him, but I usually park close to the store in an undesignated spot, get his chair from the back and wheel him inside. We only had a problem once, or twice having room for his chair to fit between the cars.
    I feel like I am surrendering somehow. I know he is disabled. I just don’t want to accept it and while there are people who are worse off, I don’t want to take their spot. We are ok parking elsewhere, as long as I can get him into his chair and from the chair into the car. It’s heart breaking. I love him so much. I know this is a post about parking, but this whole experience has opened my eyes so much to what you go through with a disability.
    My heart is so much more open and I care so much more. Disabilities come in many forms.

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