Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hopefully, Human Again

A couple of weeks ago I visited the clinic to get my depression medicine refilled. Usually I just go in, answer a couple of questions then leave with the prescription. But there's a new doctor, and this visit was quite different. She had me fill out a questionnaire about my depression, and she gave me a thyroid test. The quiz revealed what I already knew - my depression medicine wasn't working. As for the test, it seems something called TSH is high, which means my thyroid is underachieving.

Now each day I'm taking two depression pills instead of one plus a thyroid pill. My depression has already eased up a little. It may take a couple of weeks, but hopefully my depression will improve and I'll stop being deathly tired all the time. I'm a little skeptical because it seems too good to be true. If it happens I may be updating this blog a lot more often. All I can do is pray and wait. I'm not particularly good at either one, so any help would be very appreciated.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Goodbye to the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus

Thursday our 8-year-old son found our hiding place and saw the baskets and all the candy we bought for him and his sister. He started continually asking if the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus real, so we decided he's old enough to know these little facts of life.

It took many words and a fair amount of time. But basically I told him that even though the Easter Bunny isn't real, it's a symbol of something very real - the unconditional love of God for us. I told him that some people have a hard time getting their minds around this idea so we use Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny to explain it.
God loves us even when we don't love Him and gives us gifts whether or not we give anything back. He asks us to love each other the same way.

I know Santa and the Bunny are part of the commercialization of these holy days, and many people object to them. (I'm sure this has occurred to my son as well.) I understand their reasons. Just the same, on some level I still believe. We have the Bible, but we still need ways to embody this, to bring it to our own time, to make it real for us. Flawed as they are, Santa, the Bunny, the eggs and the candy help us to do that.

After all, in a way that's what the Incarnation is about. God among us, living among us in a way we can comprehend. We can't allow these symbols to overshadow the real reasons we celebrate. But I think that, in their place, they can help us.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Thank God Almighty, We Have Wheels At Last

'm a bit down today but I'm determined to post anyhow. I doubt if anyone is still listening out there, and I know it's my own fault, but I've been under the weather lately. A few weeks ago I had an infection. I didn't want to spend the money for the doctor (she does sliding scale, so it doesn't cost much, but even that little is a lot to us). By the time my husband made me go I was so sick I couldn't decide whether to go to the hospital or just save myself the trouble and die. The nurse-practitioner wasn't sure either but she gave me an industrial-strength antibiotic and in three days I felt almost human again. It could yet recur but thankfully I'm still free of it.

Also I've been really depressed. Maybe it's because of our financial situation, or perhaps my medicine isn't working anymore. I've felt suicidal a few times, but so far nothing has come of it.

Last month we found out it would take at least $1100.00 to make our old suburban run again. It might take a lot more. We had a small tax refund and a friend of my husband's was willing to lend us some money for a used car. So we finally bought a 1991 Volvo 740. Thankfully it works well so far.

I'm still trying to find another job. Unfortunately people don't line up to hire middle-aged ladies who have trouble understanding directions. The fact that I have an alomost paralyzing fear of filling out applications, and do it badly, doesn't help either. If you're so inclined, prayers would be appreciated.

Finally, a very belated thanks for all the links to asperger's sites I've received. I'm still checking them out as I have the energy. And thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. Even if I'm only talking to myself it's okay. But it's good to know someone else is reading this.

Sorry about the long, depressing post. I'll try to do better later.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Why I Believe I Have Asperger's Syndrome (Or Something Similar)

Hello, everyone. I haven't posted lately because I've had a lot of personal problems lately and been too depressed. But in my last post I said I'd explain why I think I have Asperger's Syndrome, and I'm not going to allow myself to post on anything else until I do it. So here it is.

Here is the short version. All my life I've felt different from everyone else, with a wide variety of cognitive, emotional and social problems, but I had no idea why. Several years ago my neighbor's son was diagnosed with Asperger's. She had never heard of this before, so she asked me to research it for her. So I did. I'm no hypochondriac, but the more I read, the more I felt the writers were describing me. I didn't just match some of the diagnostic criteria. I matched nearly all of it. All my weird quirks, all my years of trying to fit in without success - it was all there.

I've never been professionally diagnosed. When I was a child parents knew I was different, but in those days no one thought little girls could have this disorder. Now I can't afford a diagnosis. But the similarities are just too many to be coincidence.

When I started this post I was planning to go into a detailed description of each of my Aspie characteristics. But I then I remembered the scores of people I've bored to tears with long-winded monologues on my pet obsessions, and thought better of it. If anybody is really interested I'll do it later. Otherwise, just google Asperger's Syndrome, read the symptoms, and you have a pretty good idea of what I'm like. It's got to be Asperger's or something very like it.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A Little Bit About Asperger's Syndrome

Bobbie posted this very interesting comment the other day. My answer's gonna be long, so I'm posting it here rather than in the comments:

help! i scored 117 and i have NO idea what that means.

i have read your old blog for a bit and heard you being an aspie before - but don't know how that manifests itself.

i've been watching my 11 year old daughter in social situations and have begun to wonder about her (and myself as i had similar difficulties).

do you have any good info sites??? any help you could give would be so appreciated!

Bobbie, I apologize for taking such a long time to reply to your comment. It's been a hectic few days without much computer time for me.

First of all, scoring 117 on this quiz means nothing of itself. This quiz is fun, and helpful for the researcher who set it up, but it's not really a diagnostic tool. I do these quizzes because I just love taking good quizzes, not for any real insight into my condition.

If you can afford it, get an evaluation by a clinician who knows her stuff. Here is a list supplied by one such doctor.
Because it might be helpful to you and others, I'm planning to blog in detail about my condition and how it affects me, as soon as I can. Keep in mind, however, that I've never been professionally diagnosed with Asperger's. Although with so many of the symptoms, I think I must have it or something related to it.

Also, the autism spectrum is very broad, and manifestations of Asperger's vary greatly. (In other words, one aspie may be quite different from another.) Being socially awkward, in itself, may or may not be a symptom. In Asperger's Syndrome social awkwardness is part of a much larger pattern. In very broad strokes, the aspie lives mostly in his/her own world, and doesn't comprehend the outside world the same way as a "normal" person does.

In any case, there is no reason to fear for your daughter's future. Part of my difficulty is due to the fact that when I was a child, very few health professionals had even heard of Asperger's Syndrome. Fewer still believe it was possible for girls to have this condition. The few professionals who examined me thought I was nervous, depressed or stubborn. We still have a long way to go, but it's a lot better than it used to be.

Also, aspies often have very successful lives, both financially and personally. Many of the people who design computers, (like the one I'm using) write programs for them and draw those lovely six-figure salaries have Asperger's Syndrome. There are also many clubs and organizations for aspies.

Here are some web sites I've found interesting or helpful:

Asperger's Disorder Homepage
Wikipedia article
Online Asperger's Syndrome Information and Support
NINDS Asperger Syndrome Information Page
Asperger's Syndrome - Symptoms

There are many, many others. Just google "asperger's syndrome" or "asperger syndrome" (without the quotes) and you'll find plenty of information. Good luck and blessings with your journey.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

What Has Happened to Our Country?

If you want to read something truly scary check this out. When the Japanese air force attacked Pearl Harbor there was plenty to be afraid of. All the United States had to defend itself was rotting equipment left over from World War I. Yet the President told the nation, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself".

Now we haven't had a real terrorist threat in years, nor does one seem likely to occur. Yet the government is actively encouraging us to be afraid. Why? Because if people are frightened enough they don't care if their freedoms are taken away.

It's true that we must fight terrorism wherever and whenever it occurs. But the real terrorists aren't in the Middle East. They're already here. They're our government.

Hat tip to Mad Priest.

USO Christmas Present Letter

Yesterday hubby and I received a form letter from the USO asking for holiday gifts for the troops in Iraq. They're looking for batteries, cds, books, toiletries, etc. - all the goodies young people too far from home could need or want.

Unfortunately we're too broke to send anything. I'm trying to figure out how we'll get our own kids a few things for Christmas.

If I could send something I'd likely be checking all the old and rare booksellers for some choice Vietnam-era works on how to go AWOL and stay out of trouble...or how to protest the war while still a soldier. Somehow I think the USO would likely be happier if I just forgot about the whole thing.

But I can't think of a better present for the holidays, or any time, for the troops and those who love them than to get them all the hell out of there as soon as possible. It would be good for us, good for the Iraqis, and good for the world. And it's the right thing to do.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Aspie Quiz

Your Aspie score: 132 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 67 of 200
You are very likely an Aspie

Thanks to ePiscoSours for the quiz link. I can't afford a professional diagnosis but I do love to try these quizzes.

Actually I generally score higher on the aspie side than this. Maybe I'm just having an unusually normal day.