2009-04-06

Apple, Desk, Ball!

Sorry I haven't been writing in this blog very much lately! I've been focusing so much on my kid blog, but I'm gonna try to write in this one more regularly... not just when I'm having a horrid day!
Anyway, things are going OK. I got food stamps now. Today I had to go to the doctor to see if I could qualify for medical insurance on my LINK card too. It was in the city. You don't get a choice about where you go to or when... they just send you a letter with the date, time and place, and you'd better make it there! I took the train down to the city and walked to the place. The appointment was at 2:00, but can you believe they didn't call me in until almost 4:00? Then the doctor just asked me a few questions. He said the words "Apple, desk, ball," and I was supposed to remember them for the entire time and then repeat them back. I did it... I've done that before. Every time you do an intake for any sort of mental health thing, they ask you to do that. They also ask you if you are seeing things, what the date is, who is the President of the United States. I was like, "Man, these questions are hard, can I poll the audience?"
He also wanted me to stand on my tiptoes and touch my toes.
The appointment took about fifteen minutes. So, basically, I was there for over two hours, but only fifteen minutes of it was actually seeing a doctor!
The reason I want to get Medicaid or Medicare or whatever they're calling it these days is so I can get my medicine. It would be good if they qualify me as disabled, because then I might be able to get help with other things too. The weird thing is, I write pretty well, but in real life I have a lot of problems. If you met me online, you'd think I was really smart, but if you met me in real life, you'd think i was a spazz! Part of this is due to the Aspie tendencies I have. (I don't know if i have real Asperger's Syndrome since I've never been officially diagnosed, but I do definitely have ADHD, and I also have a lot of similarities to Asperger's!) For instance, if you see me walking down the street, you might see me flapping my hands or muttering to myself. You'd think, "There goes a crazy person!" Right? But its really just that I slip into my own world so easily! I might be flapping my hands because I'm actually signing ABC's to myself... I have a weird habit of spelling out my thoughts sometimes. Its a stimming thing. And as for talking to myself, I might be repeating something I recently heard or something I recently said, going over it with myself. I forget that other people can see me. I might be running my hand along a wall as I walk, because I'm always needing to touch things. Today on the way back from the doctor's office, I got into an elevator, and turned and started writing invisible letters on the wall with my finger and humming. It was because I was still so anxious and wound up due to the doctor's appointment, and I was thinking about it and going over it in my head, and wasn't really aware of my own body. Then I turned and realized the other person in the elevator was staring at me! The lady exited quickly and hurried away when the elevator doors opened!
Even people who know me well might not know how much trouble I have. I can hide it for short amounts of time. ESPECIALLY around my parents and other family members... because my mom gets so mad at me, she gets embarassed of me, and its really nervewracking to me. At family gatherings I can often be seen sitting alone because I get so nervous... except for around the little kids. Little kids are so nonjudgemental, they bring out the best in me! Anyway, I can hide my troubles for a while, but they always come sliding out.
One way that my problems cause me trouble is when I have a job. I can usually make a pretty good impression at an interview. I have enough social skills to know that you are supposed to smile, look the person in the eye, sit up straight, speak clearly, act confidently, etc. I can pretend. But once I start a job, it becomes pretty obvious. I get so nervous around new people, I actually get nauseous! I have trouble learning new things and following directions. I have trouble understanding what people tell me to do.
I remember this one job I had for a while when I was about 19. It was at Kids R Us. I thought I could handle working in a store, because it was a kids' store! I was told to do something with the shoes. I don't remember what it was... probably because at the time I didn't fully understand what I was meant to do. I just remember sitting in the stockroom for way too long, basically hiding out, staring at all the shoes and trying desperately to find something I could do. I was also good at going around the store and finding loose things to put back on the racks. But as soon as a customer asked me a question, I would panic! We were supposed to actively go up to customers and ask them if they needed help. But since I was terrified to talk to new people, and I was terrified that I wouldn't know how to answer their questions, I spent more time pretending I didn't see customers and walking in the opposite direction! Every time I had to go to work, I would get so nauseous and sick. Finally, I quit, because I just couldn't take it anymore! I was starting to get depressed from knowing that I was going to be so nervous and confused each day at work!
The people who know best about the problems I encounter are Diana and Jimmy. Especially Diana! Sometimes she's like a translator between me and the rest of the world. She gets me to laugh at myself and she tries to explain things to me. But sometimes she gets aggravated with me too... I embarrass her in public, just like I embarrass my mom.
What I have really is an "invisible" disability... and some people would think I have no disability at all.
Well, at least I can remember those three words... apple, desk, ball!

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