RSS

Tag Archives: autism doctors

Autism: A Better Mistake

It had been several years since I had been to the eye doctor. Even then, the last time I went I got contacts, and wasn’t given my new prescription for glasses. I was due for a new prescription, yet I am on a disability pension (federal, not provincial, which doesn’t have any benefits, and pays much less at that) and have no coverage, so couldn’t bring myself to go.

The last time I went, it was $150 just to see the eye doctor, and that didn’t include the cost of glasses. I can’t afford that.

So I have been putting it off, and putting it off, and meanwhile I have been getting more and more disoriented as I go out. My prescription wasn’t working for me anymore, and I had to do something.

That is when my friend told me about the vision clinic in the mall – there I could either buy glasses from them, and get the prescription free, or buy the prescription from them for $45, and get my glasses somewhere else.

I fully intended, when I went in to that appointment, on either buying the glasses there (ready in a hour – very convenient) or buying the prescription, and getting my glasses at the online store I have been using for years. Fully intended as in those were the only two options I had in my head going in – and I don’t change my thoughts quickly, especially when I am in a situation (such as going to an appointment and talking to some strange person) that causes me anxiety.

It happened just before Christmas, and my husband drove me down to the appointment. At least I didn’t have to deal with that!

She took me in right away, and said she had forgotten the appointment, and had put on some Eucalyptus essential oils or something – and asked if it bothered me. Not at all. I have sensory issues, but I actually like most scented products like that. If she smelled like smoke… or even unscented products (those are some of the worst for me) it would have been a problem, but not the eucalyptus.

Then she started with the vision test.

I might have been in there 5 minutes total, but…

The way vision tests are done is very hard for me. I can’t remember in between the lenses which one is better, and anyway, they pretty much all looked blurry.

I tried. I tried really hard. I even told her I was struggling, and that they all seemed blurry.

003

We got to the end of the test, and she showed me the old and new prescriptions. They were both blurry, and I told her that – so she got frustrated and said it was the best she could do, and I should go to a proper eye doctor if I wanted something better. I couldn’t explain my struggle.

She had the prescription on the screen – both the old and the new. I was looking at it as I wondered how to solve the issue – could she try again? I couldn’t afford to go to a proper eye doctor. I stared at the screen as I tried to process this complication – but she sent me out without any options.

When I got home, I decided to order glasses with the new prescription anyway. I felt bad for not paying for that prescription, but she had said that I only had to pay for it if she printed it out for me – she didn’t even give me that option.

My old prescription was still in the system online, and my astigmatism hadn’t changes (she said that while I was in the appointment.) So I put in the new numbers, and ordered the glasses.

Meanwhile all the numbers I had seen were running through my head, and I realized I made a mistake – I put in both numbers for my left eye (old and new) and not the correct one for my right eye. I emailed them right away, and tried to have it corrected – but it was Christmas, and no one got that email.

Just before New Years I got the email saying my new glasses had been shipped – ‘great,’ I wrote back, ‘only I emailed saying I had the wrong prescription and asked to have that changed.’ They got that email, and said it wasn’t a problem, they would make my glasses in the proper prescription and I could send the ‘wrong’ ones back.

And then they came in…

I was just going to send them back unopened, but I wanted to see how bad they felt to wear – this prescription was -0.50 stronger than I was supposed to have for my right eye. I put them on and…

It was the best I have been able to see in years!!!

They were perfect. Comfortable. Didn’t make me dizzy at all. In fact, it was the first time since I started wearing glasses that I didn’t want to take them off. So wonderful!

I wrote again to say I wanted to keep this mistake. It was too late to cancel the proper ones, but they did give me a large discount. Since it was my mistake (and a very happy one at that) my husband and I agreed that I should pay for them.

The ‘proper’ prescription is good for using at my computer, which is pretty close to me. For everything else, I use the mistake glasses.

A better mistake I have never made.

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Autism: Whole Day Gone

Though of course I would rather not be sick, and not have to go at all, I was thankful to finally go in to see my doctor yesterday about my nausea. It has been progressing badly, and has come to the point where I am sick all the time. I don’t know what to eat. I don’t know what not to eat. I do know that I can’t not eat, because that would make me worse.

It is a very difficult position to be in, where it feels as if even healthy food is conspiring to make me ill. And what can be considered healthy food these days, anyway? I suppose that I could try to eat all organic, natural food. I am quite certain that, although many people may not be badly affected by it, GMO’s and pesticides and such are really bad for me. Only I can’t afford organic, and what is more, eating those foods doesn’t really stop me from getting sick anyway.

002

I have come to the conclusion that this is far beyond me. I can’t fix it on my own, and I can’t leave it as it is. I am so sick. I know this isn’t caused from medications, as I am hardly on any right now – just the allergy pills I can’t go off (despite being two months past the time I can usually stop taking them), and the occasional Gravol for nausea (only when it is at its worst) and pain medication (again, only when it is at its worst.) It has to be something else.

Though I could go and list all the things this could be, I know that would only scare me and make it worse. So I will wait, and pray, and hope they find an answer for me.

It isn’t just the nausea, though – as if that weren’t enough. I am also struggling with pressure in my head, that is causing a tingling sensation in my face, that matches the feeling in my hands and feet. On top of that, my entire body aches, as if I have the flu – but I don’t. And then when I stand for long periods (5 minutes or so) that nausea turns into pain in my abdomen that doesn’t seem to let up for a long time after sitting.

Whatever it is, it isn’t good.

Even so it took months of trying to deal with this on my own before I finally agreed to go to the doctor – and then it was the third day of telling myself I had to go before I could actually bring myself to do it. It doesn’t help that when I am crashing, or not feeling well, it becomes really hard for me to leave the house. This week (as often happens) I was both.

Well, I finally went to the doctor. I went down with my husband on the way to work. My doctor is at the walk in clinic, and I was the second in line to see him (having shown up before they opened.) I was in, and out, and home in less than an hour. Not a big deal. And the thing is, I like my doctor. He seems like a good guy, who genuinely cares about people.

I wasn’t so sure about him at first, but that was because I was seeing another doctor in the clinic, who I really liked, and was suddenly told he wasn’t my doctor anymore. I had to see someone new. I don’t know if you’ve realized this, but I don’t do new well – so I kept going in and asking for my old doctor anyway, and he seemed happy enough to see me.

When, after a few years of considering it, I decided to ask about Autism, I thought it might be easier to see someone I didn’t know. So I went in, and asked for my new doctor. And maybe that is why I like him. Though they are always in a hurry, he sat down, and looked at me, and listened to everything I was saying. At the end, I could tell he believed me as he told me, “This doesn’t change who you are. You will still be the same person, but we are going to get you help.”

Ever since then, I have asked to see him, and I have always felt that he really listened to what I was saying, and most importantly that he believed me.

Well, that was it. He gave me papers for lab work, which required fasting, so I had to wait to go in. He said to come back in a week for the results, and then I drove home. Not a bad experience. Not a lot of time away from home. No strong stress (above the illness that brought me in there in the first place.) Yet though I got home before 10am, that was my entire day. I didn’t get anything else done, and from the hours of 10am to 5pm (when I had to leave to pick up my husband from work) the only things I remember doing were looking at my emails, and reading Facebook.

An entire day gone for the sake of a decent 10 minute appointment. And that is who I am.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Autism: Will They Think I Am Lying?

Last winter, I hurt my back. We got nearly two feet of snow in two days (one and a half came on the first day) and I was helping shovel our driveway. Then my husband and I shoveled our neighbour’s driveway, as her husband had a heart attack. In the morning, I shoveled a path in our yard for my dog, as the snow was over his head.

My husband had been in a hurry that morning, and asked me to feed my rabbit. So I went downstairs (he was in for the winter) and leaned down to feed him. I wasn’t able to get up again. The shooting pains went straight down my back, down my legs, and into my feet, knocking me over. It was horrible.

For the first time since I had started that job, I had to call in sick. I had been working there for four years, with a one year break in between, when I went to college. I had perfect attendance there, also. It isn’t that I had never gotten sick, but that it caused so much anxiety to call in sick, that it was easier just to go in.

At that time, however, I had no choice. It was taking me 2 hours to walk the (maybe) 15 feet to use the bathroom and back. Every step was agony, and frequently I got knocked down by shooting pains along the way. Then it would take a lot of time, and a lot of pain to get back up.

I was off of work for six days, and the pain was severe even when I was not moving at all. That was just after New Years day, 2015.

When I did go back to work, though I could walk, the pain was still quite bad. Though my job was both working the front desk, and housekeeping, I was unable to do the housekeeping portion. For several months, I wasn’t able to do any at all, and then I might be able to clean three rooms on an eight hour front desk shift (the norm for me was six, and the winter before, I had been doing twelve.)

Though the pain lasted so long, it was April before I went to see my doctor about it. He ordered blood tests, and a CT scan, but they only found a little bit of arthritis. Not enough to explain the extreme pain that I was in.

It was, as it always is, so difficult for me to go in to see the doctor. I am both afraid that I won’t be able to express myself well enough for him to understand what I have come in for, and fearful that by coming in, he will think I am a hypochondriac. So even when my symptoms are severe, it takes me a long time to go in.

When he told me it was arthritis, though my back still hurt quite a lot, I was afraid he would believe that I was lying. A year later, my back still hurts in that spot. It isn’t nearly as bad as it was, but it is still consistent.

Then I went to be assessed for Aspergers. I had actually gone to this doctor for the referral in December 2014, after many years of thinking I was Autistic. He was great. He listened well, and was very supportive. He believed me. My fears are not from him, but they are my own. I was terrified that people would dismiss me, or again, that they would believe that I was lying. (I am always afraid that people will think I am lying, though it is rare that happens – it is just that I don’t feel I am good at defending myself, or expressing myself well.)

Only everyone I saw from December of 2014 until the present have said absolutely “yes” to my having Aspergers/Autism, and I have received the diagnosis. I am still afraid, and still hesitate, about going to the doctor.

At this time, I am having a lot of pain in my abdomen. Every night, and some days, I am having a lot of pain and cramping in my right side. I have small lumps in both of my thighs, that started growing in October, and multiplied. I have taken ibuprofen so often for the pain that I am worried about ulcers. I have been on so many other medications over the past seven months, that I worry that these could be a whole host of (possibly) serious side effects that at the very least, I should have checked out.

Though I haven’t gone to my doctor since he told me about the arthritis in my back. Despite how real I know these pains and symptoms are, I am afraid I won’t be able to explain in a way that he will understand, or believe me. I am so afraid that my doctor will think I am lying, that I would likely die of cancer before going in.

I am trying to convince myself to go in, but despite a very strong effort to bring myself to do just that, it will likely take a few more months, and much worse pain, before I can actually do it.

I wish their was just a scanner, like they have in the futuristic movies, that would just diagnose anything wrong with me without my having to say a word. Until they invent that, I guess I will continue to battle myself to get the help that I need.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 23, 2016 in Autism: Out in Public

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: