Much to my surprise, though, the doctor I saw said that the ear infection had cleared up, and for me to stop taking the medication, which might actually be CAUSING problems now that I'm taking it rather than helping because it's not needed for the infection anymore.
So guess that means I'll be swimming tonight. (He did recommend that I begin using something similar to what my dad does, which is alcohol to clear the liquid from the ear essentially.)
However, that's not what I wanted to blog about. What I really found interesting was on the sheet that you get to take home. Maybe this wasn't something that has shown up before and by some weird happenstance in the system it's there now, or maybe it was always there and I just never really saw it, but there was something INCREDIBLY interesting on the piece of paper:
In the "Problem List" section as of today, there were three items. One of them was dizziness, which was noted over a year ago. I remember the visit, though only vaguely. Not very interesting, but because I remember it being a problem we visited the doctor for, it gives credibility to these being real, though I don't remember why it was such a large concern.
The second item on the list kinda throws the credibility into doubt, though. I have listed, as of two years ago (two years and two days, in fact--so basically exactly two years ago), Pectus excavatum. I looked that up, and all the images of it look more severe than my own chest is. So I'm not sure how I could have an official diagnosis of that. What I DO remember, though, is that at some point, we went to visit the doctor because of how underweight I was.
I'm 6'2". Two years ago, I weighed 130 pounds. I think we went to the doctor about it, and my extreme skinniness was something that I think they DID note. So I suppose it's plausible that they filed that as an active problem which still hasn't been addressed.
So these things are maybe-valid, maybe-not.
Why is this important?
Because of what the third item is.
On my official doctors record, at least according to my Problems List, is Asperger's syndrome, diagnosed in August of 2011. I'm again not sure how valid that is. Yet the fact that it's there gives credence to the idea that I might, officially, have it, something that I've been wondering about. But I'll continue to not say I do have it, because there's too many uncertainties present in this info for me to know for sure.
I do know that I've gotten a decent number of diagnoses for mental conditions, like my official bipolar disorder diagnosis and my official OCD diagnosis, with an unofficial ADHD one too, with a bunch of others strewn about my history, but aside from my official diagnoses, I don't know their validity, source, and weight. That's more been my mom's responsibility, given that she's the one who has always been the parent talked to and doing the talking.
GOD, I wish I paid more attention to this stuff. She once handed me a sheet that HAD the list of things for instance, yet I only glazed over it briefly. What my counselor has done was discussed in our first recent appointment, too, but I forgot what that was as well. I'm such an idiot when it comes to tracking my health.
Butstill. Regardless of whether there's a medical diagnosis for me of having Asperger's syndrome (which I believe is technically--officially--rolled under autism even if in common usage they remain different) or not, I found it interesting all the same that it's there on my medical record.
It also makes me feel a little less guilty about me using the term to describe myself. Like, I have trouble with words. Verbally, I'm an utter mess. Written-word wise, I'm ridiculously verbose as any blog-reader would know by now. (This post alone proves it!) I repeat myself all the time, I spend a long time conveying simple thoughts, it takes me forever to say the simple things, a paragraph to say what others can say in a sentence, you get the idea.
Some concepts which seem so simple to others I struggle deeply with, and sometimes, the words simply aren't there. I have trouble describing a ton of stuff, and while some of it is because they're concepts that're hard to know unless you're already in-the-know (for instance, experiences as a transwoman can be difficult), other times it's just me and my lack of expressiveness.
Plus, I utterly and totally lack social norms. It took me forever to care about what I look like to others--and it's still mainly something that I'm self-conscious about for personal reasons obvious only thanks to my transwoman status. (Of course I'm conscious of how I look.) I still lack a care for how people judge me with other senses, such as smell, and generally don't take good care of my body. (Disgusting fact, yes, but a fact all the same.)
It took me forever--like, 19 years--to learn how to make eye contact. And if I have to think about what I'm saying, I lose eye contact immediately, drifting off into my own world. I had speech therapy as a kid to deal with my stuttering because words were extremely problematic. (It only helped a little bit.) I 'get' the theoretical way things are supposed to go (which is why my writing about them is good), but when it comes to application, I just don't "get" it.
Like, I'll mimic people's greetings by mirroring their words often, rather than using a different greeting. My answers are frequently monosyllables, and with great delay. I can't carry a conversation. When people try to talk with me, I will respond, but there will be an awkward pause because the way I respond is not how they are expecting a response, because I messed up somewhere, I didn't do some social cue right, and while I know I've screwed up, I don't know HOW thus the awkwardness.
The list drags on and on. Basically, there's a ton of reasons why I could be autistic, yet that social stigma against using it without a diagnosis is there.
But now, I might have one. I mean, I don't know I have one. And don't get me wrong, I wouldn't be happy with a diagnosis, nor take pride in it. Yet at the same time...if I do have one, if the info I have before me IS a diagnosis, then that would make me happy to finally have an answer to the question that's plagued me of, "Do I have it, or don't I have it?", and would be a relief that the times I DO mention me having it were not said like a blind idiot, if that makes sense.
Once again, not sure this makes sense. I'm not even sure this comes out sounding the way I want it to, delivering my thoughts accurately. It probably doesn't. Best I've got, though. I'm not even sure I can give a summary. I'll try, though.
Basically, I've had these massive problems all my life that have isolated me. There's a stigma to claiming to be autistic without a diagnosis, even though autism is something that covers all my symptoms. It's not something I want to flaunt around, but it's something that if I have, would help me convey thoughts better. And the paper I have might be a diagnosis, which if it is, would finally give me the answer. Having it isn't exactly something to be happy about, but having something to call what I have by a name IS something that I'd celebrate.
Ack, still not sure that conveys my thoughts. But it's not gonna get better than that.