Archive for August, 2010
I’ve still got loads of time to kill (well, maybe not loads.) *checks clock while proofing* Still, enough time to listen to my fingers tap away at the keyboard. That tapping being the sound of frustration and fear.
I planned to do this yesterday. Go out, hit some of the local clinics and see if they would take me on for the internship/co-op/I-really-don’t-give-a toss-what-to-call-it-anymore. This is part of the school’s program that I enrolled in at the beginning of the year. I actually finished the program a long time ago. The only thing that remains is the above. I could just skip it, but I would like the experience. It would give me a possible edge, that may get my resume somewhere remotely near the top of the pile, when competing with all the other applicants.
At this point, I suppose I really can say that I am frustrated. I don’t understand what the problem is with finding clinics that will take us on. If this was part of the prospectus or curriculum, then why is this occurring? Not to mention, despite having problems finding placements for my/our class, another has just come through right behind. Thus, I must take matters into my own hands.
I am not comfortable at all with cold calls of any sort. Not that Aspies are so special, but I don’t think you will find a single one that is particularly good at it. Not even “particularly!” Even if it was for a job of our “narrowed obssessed narrowed field of interest.” They might just do the same thing that I do. Plus, I don’t think it’s just the Asperger’s. It’s probably all of my diagnoses!
Dependent upon the cold call, this is what I’ll do:
Voice: I speak way too long, I stumble through my words sounding like I’m a total cretin, I may be somewhat repetitive and I must concentrate very hard not to indicate I have a bit of a stutter (that of course has a tendency to pop up sometimes when I’m nervous!)
I know that voicemail messages are to be kept extremely brief in the professional world. I think most of mine last approximately a full minute.
In Person: They say you should prepare a “speech.” Well, this is a pretty useless task for me, as far as I see it. It’s not so much writing one, but I feel it’s worse to memorize it! I did theatre work for years, but now I have terrible stage fright. I really want to get over it, but an In Person Cold Call is not the place to try!
So, I think about important points in my head (that I have already thought about.) I attempt to be so pleasant it would make all of you gag. I try to not trip over my tongue and, yes, that stutter business, as well. Oh, I try not to throw up, too. And be brief. And make REALLY strong eye contact. And… Oh, bugger it! I don’t know! Just wing it? At least my stage fright hasn’t robbed me of my Improv Skills? I don’t have a damn clue!
I need a Valium. *pops pill while still drinking vats of tea to get head on straight* HA! I think I could drink all the tea in my flat and it may not help!
Next question. What to wear! It’s stiflingly hot and humid out today! I don’t think I’m in the mood for a skirt. No. Nice top and dress pants. Clothes are easy. PA rarely ends up having a “Fashion Crisis.”
However, speaking of some kind of “Employment Crisis?” Worse than doing this today? Or maybe not? She’s still too much in shock to tell. She checked out the website again for one place she is visiting. She read they have just opened a new clinic downtown in her city and they were hiring! Although, they didn’t say where, for what or… She just filled out the online information required, and shot off her resume!
Okay, should probably jump in the shower now. That will give me more time to be nervous prepare, drink tea and mess around online.
Thank you so much Server Boy, for keeping it alive as always! You made it so much better when I migrated to WordPress! I could get rid of the crappy version I had pieced together myself, on my crappy blog, on crappy Blogger!
Please do not take offense Blogger bloggers. We all have our preferences. I just find WordPress much better than Blogger!
So. What song. I’d like to play this song, I think. *nods*
“Letting the Cables Sleep” by Bush
How long can you say you’ve known someone? A relationship begins, it ends. But does it? To some people’s minds it may.
Why? Time. Those that don’t hear the ticking of the clock are fools when it comes to time.
It haunts, plays tricks. One minute, it evaporates and erases all memories. Then, the next? It hits you like a lightening bolt. When it does, it’s so fast, you can’t tell if it’s struck your mind, your heart or both.
How “long” was it? Should I appeal to a calendar? No. There’s more. Quality vs. Quantity? And how to measure the former?
I still know you and yet I don’t. But as my own life continues to move forward, I see glimpses of you. They draw me into the past and allow me to understand you more. If we could still speak! If we could still speak of all the things you told me! I understand them so much better now. I would give anything to turn back that clock and tell you that. It breaks my heart.
I don’t even care that you treated me so terribly. I would only like to have a chance to tell you that I understand. At least a little bit more?
It doesn’t matter so much, I guess. I will remain here, with the thoughts that I do recollect. I do recall your words. Even though they never will be heard by my ears again, I have memorized some of them.
I am now closer to you than ever before.
The battlefront has remained curiously quiet this year. I’m not sure why. As a matter of fact, the same thing happened last year. I was wondering if we had somehow reached a truce.
I continued to remain in stealth mode. Should we have made a truce, I did not want to risk any future encounters. After all, things were bad enough before. I only feared they would worsen.
Then I received what you see here, from one of my secret operatives. He has too many injuries from prior tours of duty, and unfortunately cannot join me in this war.
Oh, I feared things would worsen but not like this! And who is that woman! Have they actually gone so far as to hire other humans as contract killers? Oh, there is no way I can compete with this!
I thought for a long time. After I summoned the courage, I very carefully crept near their borders. Then I knew. I was immediately hit with an acorn that pierced my thigh. It felt like my leg was on fire! I quickly tore off one of my sleeves to use as a tourniquet. I crawled back to my fox hole as fast as I could for shelter.
I do not have the equipment to arm myself like the above. I am outnumbered, even though my adversaries are so small! Not to mention, I noticed a couple of them chasing each other around, when I poked my head out of my fox hole the other day. Right. Is it mating season? Wonderful. Army Brats that will soon be recruited, lessening my chances for survival as each day passes!
Now, as I write this while sitting in my fox hole, I think my chances of survival is truly grim. I may not make it at all. No. I think I must admit that and be prepared. So, if this is the last time you hear from me, you will know why.
I love it when readers come to me with strange signs and symptoms (or they’re just my own strange ones) and ask me what might be going on. If it’s a reader, as always, I state that Dr. PA is not a real M.D.! Nonetheless, whichever the situation, I get a chance to do some fun research. And sometimes, doing that research makes me feel really stupid. But hey, Dr. PA can’t know everything, right?
When most people think of Status Epilepticus (or just “Status” as we epilepsy folks tend call it) everyone sees an extended tonic-clonic, that if not treated immediately, will result in death. This can actually happen. I’ll explain what does happen, but after that, we need clear up some things.
Now, the pathophysiology of possible death in brief: high levels of neuronal death, marked lowering of blood pressures resulting in heart failure, impairment of breathing plus pulmonary edema, hyperthermia.
Please note that this list may not be exhaustive. The information has been obtained from the Neurology section of Medscape. Also, please note that Status Epilepticus occurs in a large proportion of the population who do not already have epilepsy. Further, to actually die or have brain damage happen, you would have to remain in Status for a very long time.
On a personal note, I experienced a form of Status several years ago, that did not involve a tonic-clinic seizure. It would be called Simple Partial Status Epilepticus. More specifically, epilepsia partialis continua. I cannot describe how painful it was. My eyes started blinking (no problem, had that before) then my jaw began twitching uncontrollably, my tongue fell out of my mouth and went completely numb so I couldn’t speak. Then, the spasms that were so massive (and SO painful) traveled down my neck and finally through my right arm. This lasted for several hours but eventually went away.
Moving on to what I discovered and knew nothing about. The above are all considered forms of Convulsive Status Epilepticus. There’s something called Non-convulsive Status Epilepticus. How on earth did I miss that over all the years? Well, for one, it is incredibly underdiagnosed, misunderstood, and not even understood at all!
I’ll give you a minute to think. Okay. Guess who might have it? *laughing*
I really do owe it all to said person who got the ball rolling with some questions–just like other readers who have tipped me off to things that may be relevant to me.
It took me a while to go back and read the really, interesting paper I found. I was too focused with a notion that my brain was being typically bizarre, and had simply jumped another hurdle. That notion being, whenever I would have a migraine or become overstimulated due to the Asperger’s, my brain would “think” it had a seizure and then “tell” my body just that.
No. I may very well be a prime candidate for NCSE (Non-convulsive Status Epilepticus.) It can last days. Or more? That fits with how prolonged the problems experienced with the “theory” indicated above. I would feel post-“ick”tal© days later!
Here is where I fit in quite nicely in terms of presentation and misdiagnosis. Even Non-Arsey Neuro was impressed and in agreement!
There are also two types but I will not go that far into detail. However, despite already being the messy business it is, the paper does mention that there can be an overlap between both. Now, PA and NCSE:
Presentation: altered neurologic function, diminished cognitive function, aphasia (loss of speech) without altered consciousness or dysarthria (motor problems with speech) atonia (I lose ability to walk and need my cane) visceral sensory disturbance (my heart rate fluctuates in Simple Partial fashion, my stomach can feel like Simple Partial epigastric rising) occasional myoclonus (my legs continue to jerk slightly all the time) migraine with visual aura (rare presentation and I don’t get visual aura much) pre-existing epilepsy.
Misdiagnoses: post-“ick”tal© states, psychiatric disorders.
How is it treated? Anticonvulsants.
So, Status Epilepticus, you are just a big bully! Running around making everyone think you’re going to kill us all who have seizures! Well? Phooey, phooey, phooey on you!
Here’s the paper if you would like to read it.
If there was ever a good idiom that would confuse an Aspie literal thinker (or anyone else on the Spectrum) it would be: “Trust your gut.” Trust it for…holding your food in it when you eat? No, no. Your stomach is supposed to “think” for you. Despite the fact we all know our brains do this for us.
Right. Intuition. Well, I’m not sure if I have so much of that at the moment. You could say so, but at least I have arrived at a decision to deal with my life’s terror. It’s an ultimatum. An either/or, if you will. I don’t see any middle way.
I can sit around and do nothing and go insane, or I shoot myself out of a cannon and go insane. The latter is the only way I can “prove” whatever “capabilities” I have, in whether I am too “disabled” because all my mentalness to work or not. Pardon all the quotation marks there. Reason being, I have no idea about any of this, thus the emphasis. I don’t even refer to myself as disabled. I never have.
Nonetheless, the only way I can know, is to really get out there and do something. Anything! Just sitting here will really leave me no options. So, despite how petrified I may be, it has to be done. The proof is in the pudding that you eat–where it ends up in your gut–that you then trust!
What is it with all of these idioms, eh? Speaking of, at least while at home all this time, I’ve managed to work on my writing. That’s been a very good thing. However, I am 99.995% certain it will not pay my rent!
Ever since Merlin #2 made mention I was too sick to work in some form, I haven’t been feeling so well about that. My brain is becoming a bit more de-fogged regarding the appt. when he chose to bring this issue up while I was still in the midst of a med titration. May I also add, a med titration that was necessary because I had become rather mentally unhinged. Rather.
Well, shit! We talked about that, too! I asked him if it was really any surprise, that after almost 2.5 years something wouldn’t have happened by now? I mean, to me it seemed a no-brainer (yuk yuk yuk…) I told him I never expected all of this unbelievable crap to keep going on (and getting worse in some cases) so, hey! The head blows up; you’ve got to fix it!
So, with a bit more clarity in trying to remember things, I suppose it was really more of a point he wanted to raise as…an observation? A possibility? A suggestion?
Suggestion, indeed! If I ever had any doubts that the power of suggestion didn’t work, I can certainly start doubting those doubts or toss them out the window, completely! It’s like he’s planted a seed with the fastest germination period known to the entire world of flora, directly into my mind! I am well past thinking about it. I’ve been shot like an arrow straight into rumination.
I never doubted my capabilities to work before this. Alright. My friend P. drove me to the appt. as I was definitely too out of it to go on my own. I ran out of Merlin #2’s office, after wiping all the tears from my cheeks, and managed to compose myself to make it through the waiting room. When we left, P. asked me had I actually, truly, ever doubted myself. I thought for a while.
I did when I was stuck in bed for a month after my first tonic-clonic seizure. Something happened to me that has only been proven in rat studies. A body thermoregulation disorder. I became an epileptic rat. I was placed on “Bed Rest” for a month and I have never been that sick in my life! There were also other odd things. It was like my hypothalamus was on a roller coaster. I had a freak gelastic seizure due to a surge of hormonal activity (a blatant increase in libido.) I found one man in a study that matched my exact circumstances.
Apologies. Med geeky diversion. However, after that was over, I was back to my regular self. I tried to think of other moments where I did doubt my capacity to work, but I couldn’t. Did I just not remember them? Did I just not want to remember them?
I don’t know what to do right now. I don’t know what to think right now. I feel cornered! Trapped! Before my brain blew up, I was still on the same track, moving along, not doubting anything! I’m trying so hard to keep thinking that it really is…what? As benign as he meant it to be?
Really, though? Wow. Add to the other feelings I already had: so much fear, anxiety, depression. That stuff had been going on for ages. Now, let’s add demoralized and useless to the list.
I always call myself “The Queen of Bad Timing.” That’s because so often, the most ridiculous crap shoots out of my mouth before I have any clue it’s about to, or I choose to deliver bad news at the most inappropriate moments. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to write about this, but what the hell. It’s not making so much sense to me, as stating I am “cognitively impaired” due to my med titration is…meaningless. Those words have been removed from my lexicon. So has the word “brain.”
Enter King of Bad Timing stage left.
I went to see Merlin #2 yesterday (bless my friend P. for driving.) Oh, King Merlin! Why, oh why, did you decide to bring this up now? Could you not have waited until at least I was over the side effects of this titration?
When it happened, I could barely understand what he meant, keep track of his actual words, bring myself out of shock… Now, I am trying to remember the roundabout conversation, what exactly was said and when, ascertain his motives. Still, does any of that matter? Is the end result the same?
I may not get it verbatim but how it actually started was like Hiroshima on my head. He said to me, “I’m seriously wondering if you can work. You have a lot of issues. A lot of problems. I’m really quite worried.”
What do you think? Good timing? I’m still trying to deal with med changes and “Her Royal Highness” doesn’t even know exactly how stable she is, because she’s so out of it!
Then we started going hither and yon, up and down, backward and forward. If I wasn’t so bloody nauseous and dizzy from the meds, I sure was by this horrific topic of conversation. However, not so much “Hiroshima Head,” anymore. Not like I wouldn’t be capable of doing anything.
Stability. Pfft. He had also asked me how my depression was earlier on in the appt. Well, let me tell you “King,” if you wanted to make it worse, you did a fine job yesterday!
Although, is this issue valid? Is it not? This is the part where no matter how much “sense” it didn’t make to me yesterday or today…does it really make sense? Is it a reality I must face–and one that I thought I would never have to face? Have I actually become so disabled (a word I don’t even call myself!) that I cannot live the life I used to? Life as I’ve always known it to be?