My pantry shelves runneth over with canned and boxed goods.
Today I risked a rain storm to make another run to the Houston Food Bank for meat, dairy, veggies, juice/milk and canned goods and made it home with 6 re-usable Walmart bags full.
It was raining when I set out, but soon stopped until I got home this evening.
Along the way to the pantry I stopped off, downtown, at the Metro Transit Store to try to get something a friend suggested I might qualify for.
Metro offers not just a discount Q-Card for seniors 65 & older, but one for the disabled as well.
The discount gives one 50% off the full bus fare.
To get one of the disabled cards there are several ways to apply, 2 of which were relevant to me:
1. Present a Doctor's statement on physician's letterhead or prescription with my name and a brief description of disability and whether permanent or temporary
2. You may qualify if your disability is visible, such as missing limbs, palsies, etc....anything that directly affects mobility.
When I called the transit store I was told that they had even approved people with knee problems, so...
One problem...When I saw my doctor last week she refused to write a statement saying it was against Dr. and patient confidentiality. Unless Metro had a questionnaire for her to fill out she couldn't help me.
My only other option was to go to the store explain my concerns and difficulties using the bus and show some ankle to prove I had a physical issue and hope they would see things my way.
As regular readers of this blog and my cat blog know I broke my right ankle, a few years back, investigating a black cat in a drainage ditch (I know, brilliant move, hee, hee!)
The metal implanted remains after healing, the ankle is often painful after lengthy walking (7 miles in 3 1/2 hours pisses my ankle and feet off greatly), awkward efforts at "running" or periods of standing on my feet at work (I stand 6 to 8 hrs. a day), and the range of flexibility/mobility ain't the best. Too long pedaling the bike can also cause the ankle pain.
Getting on and off the bus is an awkward, slow, affair, as I have to hold the rail or press my hand on the door, as I step up into the bus from the ground.
Stepping off the bus can be more challenging depending on whether there is dirt, grass or pavement where the bus stops and just how close the bus pulls up to the curb or what passes for the curb.
Also complicating matters is if I am carrying grocery bags and or have my grocery cart with me;
For example, today I had my shopping cart and while 4 bags fit in it I had to carry 2 others.
When getting on the bus I put the cart on then retrieved the bags, getting off I took the bags off then got the cart.
When I have my bike I have to slowly, carefully, move around the front of the bus as I put the bike on the rack and take it off.
Forget about approaching the bus stop, seeing the bus coming, and running to the stop, waving to the bus so the driver sees me and stops, or moving at a fast clip from one bus to another, especially if they are not next to each other...I can't haul ass like I used to 5 years ago...the ankle makes it awkward and slow.
A little knee pain and hip pain contribute to problems kneeling and bending to pick things up.
When I told the woman behind the counter at Metro why the doc would not provide a letter and requested some sort of form she told me they had no form to give me and unless I got the letter from the doc I'd get no card. with that she got an info sheet, highlighted some info and handed it to me to give the doc.
Her attitude was rude and condescending and when I saw the info was the same as what i saw online I seized the moment, with people watching, to state and show my case.
I told her that an operator told me Metro approved people with knee issues so...
I pointed out the line about mobility and told her all that I just described above, walked around a little to demonstrate my limp and said if she wanted more "visible" I could show her the scars on my ankle where the surgery was done.
She actually insisted on seeing that, sounding like she thought I was bluffing, and so I showed her.
The Mad Houstonian won.
She took my picture (Name and photo required for the discount Q-cards) and gave me a card with $2 on it (I had to give up my regular card that still had $1.25 on it).
The card expires in August 2024...I turn 65 in March 2025.