A stranger left this cruel note shaming a woman in a handicap parking spot
Former athlete Julie McGovern was shamed by a stranger for using a disabled parking spot. The stranger left a cruel note on McGovern's car calling her a "faker" because she appeared to be perfectly healthy.
Little did the stranger know that McGovern actually suffers from Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, which effects every organ in her body. The former athlete decided to share her story in an effort to spread awareness of her condition and to stop people from making assumptions based on appearances.
In a Facebook post titled "Today My Fear Came True," she explained that she first began feeling extremely tired all the time after physical activities during her freshman year of college in 2005. At that time, she was diagnosed with Mononucleosis. The post reads:
"I thought my excessive fatigue, sore throat, headache, and over all sickness was due to being a freshman living in the dorms. It is not uncommon to get sick in that environment. However, my symptoms progressed and I went to the Dr. As soon as I learned about the mono, I immediately stopped these activities."
Six months later, McGovern began fainting, having migraines, feeling like her heart was racing, and getting nauseous. She was so weak that she couldn't even walk to her mailbox. When she went back to the doctor, she was told that there was nothing wrong with her and that she probably had anxiety. She knew this wasn't the case, so she found someone who would take her predicament seriously. The post reads:
"I finally found a doctor who changed my life with a few simple words, 'I believe you.' Together he and I began the journey to find out why my quality of life had decreased in such drastic ways. After many tests, I was diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) My physician believed because of the mono and my continued activity, the mono destroyed my autonomic system, which controls all things in the body that are automatic. This illness effects literally every organ in the body."
McGovern's condition means that her blood pressure is at risk of dropping to dangerously low levels. In addition, her heart rate can suddenly speed up. These are all symptoms that people wouldn't recognize just by looking at McGovern. Her post reads:
"Being a young person with an invisible chronic illness is one of the hardest things I've ever dealt with. People think I look fine, so I am not sick. It isn't that I'm looking for sympathy, but respect and compassion."
McGovern was issued a disabled parking permit by her doctor because her symptoms are so unpredictable. Nevertheless, McGovern is always self-conscious when using the permit. She sometimes waits in her car until nobody is around before getting out. Her post reads:
"Today my worst fear came true. So many emotions flooded my mind. I was hurt, I was angry, I wanted my voice to be heard, but this person is a coward and could not tell me what he/she thought to my face. This person incorrectly perceived my situation, because it is impossible for someone my age to have an illness. This person doesn't know me or my struggles. They don't know what this illness has taken from me. They don't see the countless nights I cry myself to sleep, soaking my pillow with tears, pleading – praying for God to heal me. They don't see the weakness, the pain, the symptoms that are very real, but only I can feel. They don't understand, and until it happens to them they never will."
McGovern isn't looking for sympathy. She's merely looking for compassion and understanding with regard to her condition. You can read the full post about her parking shaming on Facebook.
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