(The title was a HIMYM reference. WATCH IT.)
I was talking to The Spaniard about blogging the other day. I made the comment that my blog seemed to be nothing but videos these days. The right answer was “No Chris. Your blog has had a lot of videos lately, but they’ve all been highly interesting and thought provoking.” Her answer was “Yeah.” So here’s some text.
A danger of medicine is hypochondria. The more you learn about different disease states, the more you diagnose yourself and those around you. Some fields are worse than others. My infectious disease attending refused to have any pets so he could avoid toxoplasmosis, salmonella, tularemia etc. Neurologists start to look for pathological walking patterns in everyone around them at the mall.
I’m not very cognizant of my physical state. I remember as a 10 year old (FYI, I don’t really remember ages well, so almost always make up an age when I’m telling a story from my childhood.) In any case, I may or may not have been 10. But I took off my shoes after walking for several hours, to discover I had several worms on the top of my foot. Turns out, for those of you that are grossed out right now, that they were veins. My feet were hot so my blood vessels were dilated. Turns out, I’d never noticed that before. In March I looked down at my feet, only to discover that the toenails on my big toes were dead. Why? Because I had danced in high heel shoes for 6 hours on Halloween. At least, this was what I deduced. Halloween. 5 months earlier. I hadn’t noticed partially dead toenails for 5 months.
I don’t have either a foot fascination or aversion, incidentally. Those are just two ready examples of how little I pay attention to my own body.
Point being, I’m not really aware of physical symptoms I may or may not exhibit. But I’m pretty aware of mental ones. I was reading a child psych book a couple months and came across the following criteria for diagnosing Aspergers Syndrome.
A. Qualitative impairment in social interaction,
as manifested by at least two of the following:
1) marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such
as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures
to regulate social interaction;
(I have poor eye contact, lack facial expression, and sometimes unusual posture. My salutations are often questions and I’ve been known to walk away mid conversation when I feel so inclined.)
2) failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental
(27 year old single Mormon)
3) a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests or
achievements with other people (eg: by a lack of showing, bringing,
or pointing out objects of interest to other people);
(At least some of the time)
4) lack of social or emotional reciprocity.
(Also not uncommon)
B. Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests,
and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:
1) encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and
restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity
(I think many of my hobbies could be described this way)
2) apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines
(Chris Rules (eg not texting, not ordering same food as others, defriending, etc etc)
3) stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (eg: hand or finger
flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements);
(Admittedly, I don’t have this one)
4) persistent preoccupation with parts of objects
(I could make a misogynist joke here, but I’ll refrain)
C. The disturbance causes clinically significant impairment in social,
occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
(Again, single. Also wasn’t able to get a job at Blockbuster which is a high degree of occupational impairment)
D. There is no clinically significant general delay in language
(eg: single words used by age 2 years, communicative phrases used by
age 3 years).
(To the best of my knowledge)
E. There is no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or in
the development of age-appropriate self-help skills, adaptive behaviour
(other than social interaction), and curiosity about the environment in
(My self-help, adaptive behavior and curiosity are intact)
F. Criteria are not met for another specific Pervasive Developmental
Disorder, or Schizophrenia.
Asperger's Disorder appears to have a somewhat later onset than Autistic Disorder, or at least to be recognized somewhat later. Motor delays or motor clumsiness may be noted in the preschool period. (Motor clumsiness, me?) Difficulties in social interaction may become more apparent in the context of school. It is during this time that particular idiosyncratic or circumscribed interests (eg: a fascination with train schedules) may appear or be recognized as such. As adults, individuals with the condition may have problems with empathy and modulation of social interaction. This disorder apparently follows a continuous course and, in the vast majority of cases, the duration is lifelong.
Folks, I may have Aspergers. At least I don't have toxoplasmosis.