Action for brain injury week = NOW!

ABI: extra costs = extra stress causes them

Good and bad day today. Slept OK, phew. Drove into town, all lovely, then BAM: stress coz of appointment time and NO IDEA where to park - nor costs.

Saw some empty and FREE places so parked up but then realised it was WAY too far away from my appointment (and damaged foot & BOTH big toe joints still hurting bad from last time I was there and walked too much) so now fretting time left before appointment and no idea if would find place to park nearer I reversed out but didn't look/THINK and scraped car BAD on tree.

When I parked I had got out then seen gap between me & tree and to be thoughtful to others I'd re[parked right near tree so space for another car between mine and next one along.

When I'm rushing/over-stressed are the only times I've ever damaged my car. For us ABIers having to be somewhere AND find parking not too faraway is MEGA stress, is for me anyway.

But I'm not disabled enough (pretty sure) for a Blue Badge. Oh and Blue Badge bays have extra room so I wouldn't have (most likely) damaged my car if I'd been allowed to park in one.

In real fret now, drove streets = all full then found paying carpark not near appointment but possible get there on time. Horrid concrete thing as they all are and here in France they put rubbery stuff on floor which makes terrible noise as turn wheels. Hated it too coz ALONE and nobody else around, SCARY.

Ways out didn't mean much = could've been FAR clearer. Luckily remembered to write down numbered space (GOOD idea) but derr: forgot write which level. Saw name car park and remembered it.

But coz rushing didn't take in route I took to get to appointment, just remembered stairs up.

Talked to various people after appt but then realised TIRED, must get to car and home coz eyes going bad. Found my way to shopping centre I'd walked through so went back through it but took wrong turning = outside NO idea where I was. PANIC: exhausted, asked people, they claimed not to know. Bloke showed me some stairs but wasn't sure.

Went back into shopping centre, derr: there WAS a sign for that carpark but I'd gone wrong. Followed it and PHEW saw stairs and PHEW found entrance to car park. Couldn't remember level so had to search, numbers helped but better if different numbers/letters for level, some GOOD supermarkets/others have these so IF you remember (I vary) helps find car.

Then hadto pay. Had seen big sign going in with prices and had thought OK. But when I paid = same on machine and the BIG prices were evenings only and I had to pay FAR more = 4.80 euros for 3 hours = about £4 or £4.50? On benefits NO WAY could afford that.

I WISH carparks weren't private companies coz the fee I pay some goes in profits to shareholders - I think. They area public service, why aren't they owned/run by the people?

And WHY were there 3 carparks all next to each other all looking exactly the same = great hulks of nasty concrete? And numbers 1, 2, 3 or something, luckily mine had extra short name but woman confused that with name of college further away and directed me there. Luckily not THAT tired and knew but others wouldn't.

WHY can't car parks be a bit human? Different COLOURS instead of numbers. Different CHARACTER so could say 'oh the one with flowers along the walls (painted or fake or real!)? Or an animal or a bird or lots of things to do with the sea or mountains or ANYTHING easier to recognise/remember? So many possibilities!

Then could have no need to names/numbers = multilingual and signs/on ground/walls for us to follow? And WHY no free phone for help only a PAID phone number to call inside? What if you were attacked there and no mobile and needed help fast?

Dangerous scary places carparks, I HATE them and they squeeze as many cars in as possible. The ones I worked in in Brighton when young (NCP) now have hardly ANY space between cars and the columns are awful. If you have any trouble getting in/out of car, baby in and so on = MEGA difficult. If 2 adults in car one can get out and get baby out first but if alone or single parent = can;t do that.

Same goes for eg break a leg = NO disabled parking rights, why no short-term badge for people like that too? And after op when can't drive/walk far or at all?

I expect in the future (until public transport/places truly accessible) there might be tech that'll direct you to nearest empty parking closest to your appointment, on net (or electronic street signs at worst).

If you havean appointment somewherewouldn't it be nice to know there was parking near, a place reserved for you and FREE if on low wage/benefits?

So it's cost me a lot today and disability benefits don't pay for ANY of this = no LIFE. No point trying to claim on 'comprehensive' insurance: too hard to do, massive excess and then (most likely) months of arguing to get dosh out of them like blood out of a stone. So we don't bother and that's how they make MEGA profits. We ABIers need easy-read contract, TRULY comp insurance, person can-do who organises it, car to borrow while being fixed.

But I'm just thinking: big scratch now = I'm truly integrating in France: so many of their cars (and number plates!) are damaged so now I'll blend in better, maybe now I'll be allowed to integrate, be one of them!

Oh AND I'm beating myself up (as usual) coz wrote to much before, got muddled and (also as usual) forgot the most important things. Not my fault but I fail EVERY time and FEEL like I'm bad/useless. No wonder we give up when we just CAN'T learn to do SOME things better.

Then came back home and tired so glad but HATE living here and HATE living in chaos = coz WAY too much to do and CAN'T do it all.

WE NEED SERVICES = not from charities = from health and social services! And Headway needs funds coz it tries to fill in the gaps - but CAN'T do it all or help ALL those who need it.

We need doctors CLOSE to us, transport to get there if further away and NO DELAY.

Please support action for brain injury (Twitter #ActionforBrainInjuryWeek) = we MUST tell them, educate and try to get better help. Saves money in the long run and prevents breakdown and loss of family, friends, relationships, jobs = saves loss of LIVES.

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