When I wrote my cheery reintroduction post the other day, it felt like I ignored a pretty big elephant in the room. This is the other side of me, the bit that I don’t usually brag about.
It’s hard to know how far to go back with all of this. And this isn’t a pity party post, I’m writing about this in the hope that the information is useful to some one. It took a while to diagnose most of my conditions, and I’d love to shortcut someone else to the answers they need.
My autism was diagnosed a few years back, and the story of that is sprinkled through the blog under the autism tag. (I’ll stitch it all together in a page tomorrow.) It’s not a medical condition, but it does affect access to medical help. Doctors underestimate pain if you don’t express it in the standard way, I hate talking on the phone and our GP surgery is all phone appointments these days.
Which is partly why it took so long last year to get myself to the GP for help. I thought it was a resurgence of the depression I’ve dealt with on and off all my life, despite me doing all the right things – exercise, creative stuff, eating well, all of it.
And the doctor assumed the same, and put me on antidepressants.
I didn’t feel any better. I felt a whole lot worse. I started to develop a tremor which meant I couldn’t take photographs or draw. Then it got so my muscles would fatigue when doing normal stuff, the real crowning joy being the time I had to call Tim to meet me at the supermarket round the corner (seriously a 3 minute walk) because my arms gave up and I couldn’t carry the couple bags of shopping home.
The year before I’d been having physio for my chronic every joint problem. If it’s not one thing it’s all of them. And the physio pushed for a whole battery of blood tests and that time it was a vitamin D deficiency. So I wondered if it was that again, or side effects from the anti depressants. But the doctor suspected hyperthyroidism and did yet more blood tests.
Turned out in hypothyroid, and tested positive for antibodies, which means I have Hashimotos. ‘The silver lining,’ said the GP over the phone ‘is that you get free prescriptions for life. But you have to take thyroxine daily.’
Once I’d got that established I got a different GP to prescribe a withdrawal dose for the anti depressants, and guess what, the tremor went too.
GPs are supposed to have protocol to deal with autistic patients, to be more accessible, because we’re really bad, generally speaking, at pushing ourselves forward and getting the health care we need. Mine set up a couple appointments so I didn’t have to do the phone thing, then he stopped and now I’m back to not going in again.
And it’s November, I still can’t run (hip and back, that’s a whole other story) and I can feel myself slipping again.
I’ve got a pain clinic appointment tomorrow. I’m hoping for some answers about how to strengthen my back so that I can work towards running. I’ve started a gratitude journal, and every day it’s sunny I’m out with my camera. It helps, but I don’t know if it will be enough.