Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Pain, Lots of Pain

I have recently developed pain both under my rib and around into my back. This is causing me a great deal of distress! I don't really deal well with most pain.

The problem with pain is that it is really distracting. I feel as if I simply cannot function. The pain takes over and overwhelms all my other senses. I am highly irritable, not only from the pain, but also from the fact that this pain is really persistent and constant. There is little to nothing I can do right now to get this pain to stop. Tylenol hardly touches it, stretching hasn't done anything for it, using good posture makes no difference. The only thing that does seem to work is pushing on it, lying on a tennis ball, or massage. This helps greatly reduce the pain, but it always comes back.

What I am thinking is going on is that the entire right side of my back has tightness in the muscles there, from my shoulders on down. I think these muscles are pulling my ribcage, and because of the pregnancy hormones, it is pulling my ribcage "out of place/joint".

I have a chiropractic appointment on Monday, when we are on our way to our babymoon! However, I don't think I will be able to make it that long. I am thinking I might have to go tomorrow. I can't sleep. The only position that makes it eased is lying flat on my back, a big no no for women in their third trimester (which I just begun). So, doing that makes me nervous, even though it is the only position that eases my pain. I thought being on all fours would help but that doesn't do anything to ease it anymore (it did the first day I felt this much pain).

Of course, because I am in pain, and I am more cranky than usual, and I am very impatient and moody, I then end up feeling guilty because I can't tolerate B doing certain things. I get annoyed when he is making a lot of noise, playing and talking constantly, or trying to get me to do something with him. I simply cannot handle doing something with this kind of pain. It feels at times as if someone has stuck a knife in my back and its sticking out the front too. 

Again, I think it must be something out of joint because it is in the same rib area in the front and back. Some points in my back if I press into the tennis ball it will feel stabby in the front ribcage area. So I am really hoping that it is something a chiropractor can fix... my other options are certainly more distressing: kidney or gallbladder problems. I am not really having any other symptoms however, just this constant pain. It doesn't seem to matter when or what I have eaten, it hurts more in certain positions, and as I said, if I get it rubbed it feels better for a period of time. I think that because of the pregnancy hormones, it doesn't take as long to start hurting again because its so much easier than normal to shift my ribcage around. I could almost feel it shifting when I turned from side to side in bed last night.

But anyway, it causes a bit of sensory overload. It is like being in a crowded mall, with loud annoying music, flickering flourescents, and rude people all over the place. This is pretty bad pain. I had a natural birth with my first, and I am here to tell you I would much rather be in labor right now than to have to deal with this pain. My labor and delivery of my son was great! Sure, it hurt, but considering how I usually function with pain, it was NOTHING in comparison to this. It might seem as if I am some kind of wimp, but really, when you are in labor, no one expects you to play with or read to another child, wash dishes, clean the house, make meals, or even do anything that requires using your brain for anything except pain management and focusing on getting through the birth. I have this horrible pain in my ribs and back, and I still have to try to function normally? I can't do it. I feel terrible. It is like having the flu, only worse because I feel fine everywhere else, but can't get my head to cooperate with daily tasks.

So tomorrow I think I will try to go to the chiropractor. My other option is a physical therapist, or even my doctor (hoping once again it is not some medical issue!). But I honestly hope that the chiropractor will be able to help. I have a friend nearby who could do some kind of massage that I think I will try to get ahold of first, if she isn't available, then to the chiro I go. I usually can lay down on the floor and stretch my back out and get it to crack, and honestly lately that hasn't been happening, so I know things must be getting tight and/or inflexible back there! That's totally not normal for me, and I must say it is quite annoying! 

I will say this, I have said it before and I'll say it again: If I had gone through this much torture the first time, I might never have even considered a second pregnancy! I'm glad for my family, but I think I'm even more glad that I'm pretty confident I can be done after this. I'll have my older boy, and baby girl, one of each, and with all the troubles, I can be done. I never thought I would get to that point. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I can be done with the whole having kids thing. Sigh!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Last Minute

I know I have never been the kind of person who deals well with changes at the last minute. I think in my life I have done rather well, I can handle major changes in general pretty well. It's the ones that come at the last second that drive me up the wall. Mostly because I plan ahead in my mind what a day (or whatever) is going to be like. Then some last minute change comes along and pulls the rug out from under me and I'm left feeling rather frustrated or very sad. 

This seems to be pretty common with Aspergers. We don't like unexpected change. Maybe this is why so many of us desire and obsess over gathering information and knowledge about something. We want to be as prepared as we can be, and know as much about something as we can, so that not much can take us by surprise. 

For example, when I was first pregnant, I got my hands on a lot of very informative material! Though I refused to read the "What To Expect..." series, I was given books through my insurance company healthy start program, and my doctor's office. One of the books that meant a lot to me was "The Birth Book" by Sears. This book is still the best book on birth I have ever read. No book I have run across since has been as honest and informative as that book. Of course, if you know the Sears', you know they have written quite a few books on parenting and related topics. Both Martha and William Sears have written books as well as their son Robert, who wrote "The Vaccine Book". So of course I got my hands on as many of those as possible as well, and read them too.

Not much has changed with this pregnancy! I still rely on the same resources that I loved so much the first time around. I am going to read "The Birth Book" again, because I know it gave me so much motivation and information the first time, I want that same confidence the second time! It has been more than 6 years after all! I like to be reminded why I made the choices I made to avoid drugs and other interventions, and I am more concerned with my birth plan being respected this time. In addition to my husband I am having a friend come as well, to help deal with those kinds of situations I regret having, such as the "pushy nurse" who would not stop asking me if I wanted something (even though I repeatedly said no, she just kept asking!). She wants to go into midwifery, so she will be perfect for what I need! 

We got a couple of DVDs from Netflix called "Laugh and Learn About Childbirth" as well. This way we don't have to retake the classes at the hospital, which are more geared toward first time parents. It was pretty awesome! Even the parts that we know we don't want to have to worry about, such as the drugs and c-section parts of the movie, I wanted to watch anyway because I just do not want to have to be surprised! 

See what I mean? The power comes from the knowledge. I don't think that ONLY people with Aspergers should have knowledge, and I don't think that ONLY people with Aspergers gain a lot of power from knowledge. I think that EVERYONE should have the right information for whatever in life so they are prepared. Many people will tell you each birth experience is different, which is true, but the body's process is exactly the same. You will go through the same phases, you will go through the same process. Information helps you to know what is happening, that all this pain has a purpose and reason and that blocking the pain has certain risks. Especially knowing about the risks certain choices will cause is critical to experiences we face! You have to know what you are risking by the choices you make! Whether its birth, or whether to drive or fly to your destination, there are risks and costs, and one has to have the knowledge to be able to accurately and sensibly make the right choices. Making the choice based on little to no information, or based on what choices someone else makes is a rather foolish decision.

Anyway, so today I am dealing with one of these last minute situations, and though it has NOTHING to do with pregnancy (at least not physically), I am still constantly surprised at how fast the tears can fall from my eyes when I am faced with a disappointing change or last minute plan. It is frustrating, and yet unpredictable. There is no way I could have planned for that, unless I plan for it every day and just get surprised on the days that it doesn't happen.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Naivity & Safety

There is a lot to be said about ASD and safety. Many with Aspergers tend to be rather trusting and naive and that can get us into trouble.

I'll tell you, I have no idea how I managed to make it this far without being seriously hurt. However, I suppose I was never without protection.

My parents were very protective. Although I don't remember making a huge deal out of it, I'm sure I was disappointed that I wasn't often allowed to go and hang out or sleep over at my friends' houses. However, knowing what I know now, it was protective.

I had a very close teacher take the time to talk to me before I went to college (and before I was dating my husband which began 3 weeks before I went to college). He warned me that so many boys are out for just one thing, and once they get that one thing, they don't care about you anymore. (Still true, even for people older than college age.)

Then, being socially awkward and dating someone, I was protected from a lot of possible bad experiences dating guys or going out in college. 

And those are just the dating/relating examples! My life has been very protective, and for good reason. I still am too quick to trust people sometimes, and I am too quick to give people a chance. Is there really such a thing? Maybe. There are times when I have been completely open and honest about my feelings and intent to  be friends with someone, and it turns out they were either not interested nor felt the same. That is rough, and it makes me feel taken advantage of. 

People with Aspergers shouldn't be used just because we CAN. It isn't fair that people take advantage of others. We can look out for each other too, so help someone else out when you know they are being taken advantage of. 

That all being said, we do usually have a very good handle on right and wrong. We can usually see right and wrong, even in situations that don't really involve us. This can be helpful because if we know right from wrong, its hard to be pulled into doing things that are wrong! I am grateful for this. I was always the kind of person who thought drugs, smoking and alcohol were just stupid things to do, and I can honestly say that I was not offered as much as a cigarette until college. How that managed to happen, I'm not sure, but maybe when you stand for right, people just know better. That's what I'd like to think anyway! I honestly believe that our strong adherance to rules and routines help to keep us protected. We usually don't come across sticky situations because we keep to routine, we keep to what we know, we keep to right!

I wonder, if more NT people kept to "right vs wrong", would they be less likely to fall victim to things? I don't know. We certainly are still vulnerable to a lot of things. Bullying usually happens TO people with Aspergers. It would be very hard to imagine anyone with Aspergers having the ability to bully anyone else, especially bullying with malicious intent. Though we might be pushy because of our strong keeping to right vs wrong, that doesn't make us a bully, and actually keeps us from bullying because it is wrong to bully!

I suppose not every person understands right vs wrong in that way, I'm sure there are exceptions to the rule. But I am grateful for my protected life. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Thanks and Link Referral To Women and Missed Diagnosis

WOW! Almost 3000 views to this blog! I'd like to thank all you out there who are stopping by and checking out some of my thoughts.

Today I am posting a link to a post that quickly and briefly goes into why women are so often "invisible" as people with Aspergers. Just because the typical (male based) outward signs aren't there does NOT mean that someone is not an Aspie. This should be taken into consideration when dealing with people, even people you don't even suspect or think have Aspergers. Who knows what they are dealing with, what if you are misunderstanding them and their intentions? This is what I often had problems with. People could not and would not believe I am as honest and giving as I am. Without claiming to be a saint, I have serious difficulties lying to anyone, but no one believes that. Anyway, moving on, here's the link:

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Obsessions and Cravings

Last night I felt like I had eaten a ton of food, but nothing was satisfying enough. I still felt like eating, I still felt hungry. It was a good thing that I followed through with my plans to make potato salad! I was apparently having my first unsatiable craving. Nothing but the potato salad made it go away! Finally, I felt relieved!

I was just going to post that as a non-Aspie related post, but I realized that with Aspie obsessions, it is much the same way. Whether its rock collecting, listening to music, collecting bottle caps, researching it, participating in it, or being around it, our obsessions are often insatiable. We often feel out of control, hungry, frustrated, anxious, or out of place until we can connect with that obsession. There is a complete to-the-gut feeling of incompleteness until we can participate in the thing that makes us relax, makes us feel happy, and makes us feel important and valued. Rock collecting isn't just rock collecting, it's food, water, and a skill!

With Aspies, I think you have to be careful of what you do to try to manage the obsession in question. Removing it, banning it or otherwise trying to prevent the obsession is going to make the person agitated, stressed, overwhelmed and panicked among other things. Putting limits on the obsession is fine (you may only put your rock collection in this box/jar/containter), but don't dump it out, scold the person for doing it, or make it a source of stress and arguement.

Anyway, I'm glad I had my first craving. I felt like I was missing out on a part of pregnancy that I see as really fun. I have been wanting to eat a lot more fruit and sweets than normal, but I guess because I usually have fruit in the house, I haven't had a problem not satisfying that craving. The potato salad is a process because it has to be made, and it takes a long time to make! So to finally get it made and eat it is so satisfying. I hope that craving doesn't remain all the time, or else I'm going to be super busy just making potato salad!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Going Away

One week from yesterday, we are going away! 

My husband has had a really long winter at work. With the added stress of trying to buy his own truck (which he decided against), and dealing with the regular little breakdowns which peaked last week with something to be fixed almost every other load, he is tired, and I am tired too. I'm trying to think of why I might be so tired. Sure, I'm pregnant, but this feels as if its above and beyond. I'm going to say that just as stressed as he has been, I have been for him. It has been a long winter!

So we decided we needed to go away for a couple nights. We honestly shouldn't, we honestly are going to really pull the strings tight this month in order to do it, but it is going to be worth it. We are going to a beautiful hotel that we have always wanted to stay at but never have, and we are leaving our son with some trusted friends who have a boy his age and another younger boy. It isn't an ideal situation from B's perspective, but I think it will work out just fine.

We plan to basically sit in the hotel room the whole time and just relax. I'll bring some books, there will be the TV of course, and the hot tub, and the pool (for the husband because I don't have a swimsuit that fits me right now! LOL).... We might decide to go out for a few things maybe, might take a drive up to Gooseberry Falls, one of our favorite places. And of course since we are in Duluth, on the lakeshore, I'm sure I will find myself down there on the lakeshore. :)

We don't do this. We NEVER do this. Of course, before B, we could do this at home. To an extent, we still can, grandparents love to have their grandkid over. However, there's something special about this year, there's something different about this upcoming vacation, this is the last thing we will do alone together before the NEW little B arrives. :) This is our babymoon. This is the last night we will be alone for quite a while, since we're the kind of parent who believes in keeping our babies near us until they are older.

For family who might be reading this, if you want to help us out here with $, we would appreciate it, but we don't expect it. ;) LOL!
I had teased hubby that he could take me out to a fancy restaurant. I think I will even bring a nice dress to wear just in case that happens. We most certainly have NEVER gone out to a fancy restaurant. Unless you count Olive Garden (which we have a gift card to thanks to a birthday present from some good friends, so we will end up there for at least one meal!)

I cannot wait! This is going to be so nice! I think with my Aspergers, and my hubby's Asperger's tendencies, we both need some time not only alone together, but alone. Like I said, I will probably end up on the lakeshore, and hubby will be in the room watching whatever he wants to watch (something else that he NEVER gets to do!). The only thing I can ask for is that the weather be good for pictures. Not too sunny, but not snowing like crazy either. I should start checking the weather forecasts!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Obsessive Thoughts

I haven't seen a lot of articles or information on Aspergers and obsessive thoughts. So I'm writing, and if anyone knows of any information on this, please share it in the comments.

Without going into detail, I "suffer" from obsessive thinking. Sometimes, certain topics can get stuck in my head, and I ruminate over it for a long period of time. Sometimes this happens until the situation is resolved but this is not always the case. Sometimes the issues causing these thoughts never really resolve, the situations in mind never come to an end, and the problem I am ruminating over just remains there in the backburner. I can go for weeks thinking about one topic/issue, and I have no way of removing that from my mind. It is rather frustrating.

The most frustrating thing about this is that I am deeply affected by what I am thinking about. My mood, my ability to function normally, my ability to be social and my ability to complete daily tasks is greatly affected by this thinking glitch. I am rather moody, short tempered, and avoidant. What I think I'm trying to do is escape the thoughts and thinking, but in the process I have to avoid everything else in my life as well. Complete escapism. I get rather annoyed when interrupted in these moments of trying to escape. It has a completely overwhelming effect on my entire life, and I am unable to handle much of anything else.

Sometimes, these thoughts might not have much or anything to do with me personally. Much in the same way as NT's care about and worry for their friends and family, even if the situation doesn't have a lot to do with me, I still ruminate over it. I still end up focusing on it. I still end up overly upset over the situation. Most people find this rediculous, if it has nothing to do with me, and if I have no control over the situation, first why do I care, and second, what good does worrying about it do?
The problem is that no matter how much I dislike and do not want to be thinking about it, I am unable to keep these thoughts from taking over my head. This is something that is beyond my control. This is something that I have never been able to resolve.

I am unsure what the solution to dealing with this is. I do try to pray a lot about it. At first, for the right resolution to the problem, the just solution. After a long period of thinking about it, and as the frustration that I haven't been able to remove it from my thinking increases, I pray for it to be lifted from me. This sometimes helps, but often not as quickly as I would like, and it doesn't completely remove the thought. The thoughts still come back time and time again, though less frequent. I become quite agitated that once again this thought is in my head and causing a disruption in my life. However, these relapses are usually short lived, or are only intense for a short time, retreating to a mild thought that still remains on the backburner.

I have not been able to try consistent, regular therapy or counseling to get things off my chest. I do not have a lot of friends living near me, and fewer still that I would trust to vent all of my frustrations to. In the past when I have expressed my thoughts or obsessive thinking, I have often been met with the responses of "It has nothing to do with you - just stop thinking about it", or, "Don't worry about it, it will be fine". Sure, that might be "true" to the listener, but the fact of the matter is that neither deals with the fact that these thoughts are very strong and controlling in my head, and I wouldn't be bringing them out to the ears of someone else if I could have handled it myself. Sometimes just getting it out there and having a sympathetic or listening ear is enough. But the majority of the time that ear does not exist or is not present during my time of need, and the stress never gets removed from my head.
I would think that regular therapy and counseling would be helpful because you get that non-judgemental, understanding ear that just listens, you get to speak what is going on in your head without judgement or ridicule. But I have been unable to try this because it is a distance to get to a counselor that I trust or feel comfortable with. Maybe someday this will be an easier obtained solution.

Do any other Aspie's have trouble with this kind of thinking? Is this part of how we deal with stressful situations, or unjust situations? Is this because of our strict adherence to doing the right thing and wanting the right thing to be done by everyone? 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Referred Link: Being Female Protective Against Autism?

Yeah, I think that its more along the lines of the fact that they have not figured out girls are different than boys here. Just as they say the signs of heart attack are different in women, so is autism different in women. There's nothing wrong with that, but science and diagnosing professionals need to get with it and change their perspectives, doing more research perhaps on the traits that women like me have, and use those traits to diagnose further, instead of continually comparing to men.

LINK: Inner Aspie: "Why I'll Never Be Popular" & My Thoughts

"I will walk several feet (thanks to my usual walking style of power-walking) before it hits me.  "That person just said something to me." Then, I have to switch gears in my head from my usual, and comfortable mono style thinking, to paying attention to my environment.  This takes several seconds, and by then it is likely the person is already gone, or is awkwardly awaiting my response.  Now, I am dubbed snotty, and anti-social at worst, and spacey, and weird at best."

This stuck out to me today. I guess I never realized that I am totally doing this to people. Especially when I am doing something else, especially grocery shopping. (Or, rather, because grocery shopping is something I do almost weekly, it is when most of my interactions with others happens in one of those "in town" situations where you don't expect to see someone....)

Sometimes it goes much farther, to where I might recognize someone, but I have no idea why. Or, I have no idea what their name is. I just can't remember. Usually, I feel like I should know who it is, but it takes my brain a while to catch up. I think I might be okay at pretending if they start talking to me, but I stay with general stuff if I can't remember who they are, and at some point I might pop in with something more person as I remember where they are from and who they are.

But yes, I will totally walk by someone who says hi to me because I simply did not expect the exchange, or don't remember who it is. Of course, I'm sure on more than one occasion, I have been considered rude because of this.

Moving on in the post, I totally agree with the mentality about people who seem "too popular" or who might have been popular, reminding me of the people who burned me.

Not understanding how to interact with people is a direct manifestation of autism.  Not everyone will get depressed, and bitter when they can't, but many will, especially if we don't know we have autism, and why we keep getting left out."

I remember specifically a time in college where I had a group of people who I was hanging out with. Despite the fact that all our free time we spent together as "friends", I ALWAYS felt like I was being left outside of the group. I was there, but not completely included. Though this group and I had a lot of care for one another, they had a lot of interests and inside jokes or whatnot going on that I didn't understand or care about. They liked to watch a few certain shows that I didn't like, they were into a certain kind of movie, they listened to certain music. They had cars and/or money to go to concerts, while I would rather go to the jazz dance (which they never came to even though I played in one of the bands, they never showed interest in any of my activities, despite my attending their plays or whatnot).
I was always outside, looking in, sitting right next to them, but only witnessing certain portions of what they were doing as friends.

When I happened to be fed up about it and told one of them about it, how I felt I was ignored and left out, I was told that it was ME who was purposely holding myself back. That might be so. But it did upset me that so many times I was left out.

What I find the most difficult are the people that don't understand that autism social issues are not the same as someone with an anxiety disorder.  I don't avoid people because I am afraid of how they will see me.  I don't avoid talking to people, because I am afraid I might say the wrong things, or that my anxiety will go too high, and I'll be embarrassed.  I simply forget, or have nothing relatable to say.  The negativity doesn't help me, or my self-esteem, but it's certainly THE cause of the problem, either.  The times I have heard someone say that to me! "You need to change the way you think." or "You can't because you tell yourself you can't". It's not as if I choose to not be all that interested in people around me, or join in on groups, ect... It's not a choice, and it has never been one."

EXACTLY. Sometimes I would forget, or not know what to say, or not know how to interact, or not know what to do about things I had no interest in. "You can't because you tell yourself you can't" is the same thing as I was told "You are the one leaving yourself out, and you seem to do it on purpose for attention". Really? I wish I had known then what I know now, but maybe it wouldn't be as much of a revolution in my mind to hear that about myself and then have this realization that I am not the only one who has experienced that!

Anyway, this journey of Aspergers that I have been on has connected me to a few really great women with Aspergers. It is so relieving to know that I am not alone in my experiences and feelings, and that surprisingly enough, as unique as we all are, there are things that happen to all of us, quite possibly because of Aspergers. It makes me feel like a part of something, for the first time in my life, instead of living on the outside of everything else all the time.

Thanks Inner Aspie! ;)

Link: Autism and Bias

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Link On Introversion

I AM the bubble person! : ) LOVED this link. It is perfect and totally true. :)

Link - Facial Expressions