This nasty pericarditis has left me so debilitated that all I can do is lie in bed and ponder a variety of issues. I've been thinking, for instance, about how much more complicated it is to take care of your health if you are autistic.
Hospitals and doctors' offices are places where you are examined, scrutinized, poked, asked endless questions by strangers, and left for long stretches of time away from a familiar environments.
"You should see a doctor!" people suggest brightly when they see an Aspie suffering from a persistent cough, high fever, heart palpitations, or any other visible discomfort. If only it were that simple. As an autistic you learn very early on that many things are just not an option. Whenever you feel sick, you simply know that seeking medical help is not something you can deal with. If anything, it will make you feel worse: disoriented, lost, confused, possibly depressed. Knowing this, an Aspie will often choose to suffer in silence, hoping to walk it off, wait the disease out.
I don't have any practical suggestions to make here. I just wonder how many autistics are sitting there alone, waiting for the pain to go away on its own, because they can't imagine putting themselves through the trauma of a hospital visit. And how many might be shortening their lives as a result?
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