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Autism: On My Own Schedule

03 Oct

It started out to be a very disappointing sort of day.

Always these mornings, since I started my new medication, I have to fight to wake up. It isn’t that I haven’t got enough sleep – I am averaging about 10 hours a night – but more that the sedative effect won’t wear off.

So as has become my routine in recent days, I was finally able to open my eyes long enough to get out of bed around 9am. My entire body ached. That began when my doctor increased the dose of my last medication. We decided I should go back to the lower dose as my side effects were so bad, but despite it having been six weeks ago, this effect refuses to wear off.

The aches are so bad at night that I can’t even sleep on my right side. I can’t even turn that way without getting sharp pains along my abdomen. It isn’t usually as bad during the day, but at night that pain causes me a lot of trouble.

My feet have also been really achy lately. My feet have always ached. I was born with clubfoot really bad in both feet as a result of some morning sickness medication my mom took while she was pregnant with me. I had two major operations on both of my feet at the ages of 6 months and 4 years old. Because of that, every night of my childhood, and through my teen years, I went to bed with such pain in my feet and legs that it was hard to sleep.

This is still a huge problem these days, and the medication didn’t help.

For all of those reasons it was very difficult to motivate myself to do anything today, and it felt really bad. I am happy to be home – there is so much to do, and I feel so much healthier when I don’t have to go into public (and no, exposure therapy didn’t help. I pushed myself to go out there, or bring people in for nearly 40 years of my life, and things only got worse.)

If I can’t move, however, what is my purpose?

I went with my son on his walk – it really is a highlight to my day, and if nothing else is accomplished, at least I can do that. I thought there were a lot of people on the trail yesterday with three people on bikes, and two people on foot that passed us. Today was a zoo. There was a school field trip of children on bicycles, and about six adults with them, four new mothers walking with their babies in carriers, and three joggers.

Way too crowded for us – and I came home feeling highly discouraged.

For a couple of hours after, I just sat at my computer, eating too much junk food, reading unimportant news stories, and researching recipes I will probably never use.

Then, thinking I should get something done today, I went to vacuum the spiders out of our family room. We have had a lot of spiders this year, and I have no idea why. After vacuuming them up, I sprinkled cinnamon around my plants down there, and along the ledge – that seemed to work in my son’s room.

Having moved furniture out of the way to reach the spiders, I started to rearrange things in there. Four hours later, the entire room was changed around and cleaned, and I feel really good about how productive my day was.

I really love that I can be home when this inspiration hits, and that I can get things done on my own schedule. I never know when the motivation will come over me, and I will actually be able to get things done.

Living on someone else’s work schedule means that I almost always miss this ability to take care of my own home, and am frequently overwhelmed with how much is not getting done here.

The aching never subsided today, but I was able to ignore it since my mind was so focused on cleaning. I know I will feel this tomorrow – but I am so, so thankful to have had today.

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