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Posts Tagged ‘work restrictions’

 

About four months ago, the hubs and I went on a date.  OK, we went on a date to a comfortable meal and then both Home Depot and Lowe’s.  We are in the middle of remodeling our house, when we get a chance to go to either of those stores without two small children, we jump at that chance.  Trust me, I can write a book on schlepping young children to home improvement stores successfully, but I will embrace a solo trip any day.

As we were leaving Home Depot, the hubs started shaking his head and said, “I just saw something that I just don’t understand!”  I got out of the truck and followed him.  There was this Harley Davidson with Disable Person plates on it.  At first I did not get what the big deal was until he pointed out how difficult riding a motorcycle is.  He has been an avid rider of some sort of motorcycle since he was 13 years of age.  He finally sold his “crouch rocket” right before we had kids, which I was secretly thrilled about.  He went on to say that a Harley could easily weigh 800 lbs. and it takes a good amount of body strength, coordination, timing, and personal balance  in general to maneuver and balance one of those beasts of the road. Operating that while being classified diable seems to be a major foley on the part of the DMV.

As we were climbing back into the truck, the owner hops on the Harley and proceeds to leave the parking lot.  I then realize that this could be a golden blogging opportunity and instruct the hubs to follow him so I can get a picture of this “anomaly of the road”.  Here I am hanging out the window with my cell phone trying to get a picture, the motorcycle is now clocking at about 60 miles per hour on the surface streets with us hot on his tail. It was like we were Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane shouting, “OOOOOOH! I’m in “Hot Pursuit!”  and he was the good ol’ Duke boys. 

He finally turns into a strip mall and we slink in behind him and wait for him to head into the liquor store before I jump out and get the prized evidence of such an amazing sight. I jumped in and we speed off like we robbed the joint before anyone knew the difference.    Now may I need to preference, that we are far from the profile types to try to tangle with a patch -wearing- biker, but seriously it was all for love of journalism… who am I kidding, blogging. 

After the adrenalin faded and the hubs and I chatted about this on a more serious note, we wondered how this could happen. We started checking off things that classify people “disabled”.  I, being a specialist in the workman’s  compensation arena for employers and have full knowledge and understanding of the ADA (American Disabilities Act) gave me an edge to dissect this issue. I understand that when you are classified disabled you are given certain work and daily life restrictions depending on the injury (most of the restrictions are involving lifting, pulling and pushing heavy objects and that restriction is usually under 50  lbs. Also sitting or standing for long periods of time can be a strong factor).  Driving a car vs. riding a motorcycle are two very different operations, while both need alertness, fast reflexes and good vision, the motorcycle carries a whole physical aspect a car could never compete with.  Trying to keep a 800 lb motorcycle balanced and off the ground is a challenge and if it indeed falls over on you, you are essentially screwed.   

In my professional experience, most major injuries that place people at a disability status is a back injury, then neck,  shoulder, knees  carpal tunnel syndrome, some head trauma, and in the geriatric/diabetic population is feet. There is a small population that has seizures controlled by meds, heart  and lung issues that can be classified as disabled.  There is an even smaller population that is deemed “psychologically disabled” (I don’t know why they call that a “small population”, we meet someone who fits in that category at least daily). 

First off the guy seemed to be fine, he drove like a bat out of hell and had the wits about him to be shopping for home improvement stuff as well as having good priorities of stopping off at the liquor store for his night-cap.  He maneuver that 800 lb piece of vibrating metal through traffic at high speeds with ease.  There was no evidence of being disabled, no limp in his walk, no weird tick with his head.  He had strength, wits, and a taste for fine liquor.  I can tell you of at lest two worker’s comp cases I had shut down and closed due to a joy ride on a motorcycle while out on disability, so me being a bit suspect to this guy came a little more nature than expected.  His disability may be legit, but we will never know. 

 I did search out the guidelines of what classifies you “disabled enough” to obtain those plates and the guidelines seem to cover areas that do not pertain to being able to operate a motorcycle and it appears you can get any ambulance chaser chiropractor to sign off on some of the listed disability status, which is somewhat disturbing.  I know of a couple of shady chiropractor, the hubs has scoliosis and I am going to need good parking spots for the holiday season. Hmmm…

The bottom line is I find it very disturbing to know that someone who is deemed disabled is operation a piece of machinery that requires an “all hands on deck” approach and the Department of Motor Vehicle seems to be fine with that. 

I have friends and family, within my inner circle, that are deemed 100% disabled due to many different and very ligament reasons.   They are good people, that have to face pain and daily adversity to deal with that disability.  Most of them battle depression, because they can’t do the things they used to enjoy (riding mortorcycles, horses, surfing, hiking, etc) and find other means and ways to cope with that reality.  None of them are hopping on a Harley and jet setting about the town at 60 miles an hour with the stamp of approval from the DMV.    To me it was a “riding” contradiction of what it means to be disabled and the DMV should have someone re-assessing their approval process for disability plates in the regards to motorcycles.

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