Thursday, April 29

Sick, Or Something

Frequent fits of sneezing like siezures. Stuffed left sinus. Nose running copious streams of snot. Either I'm coming down with something, or else this is an ill effect from my BiPAP, which was blowing warm dry air up my nostrils for who-knows-how-long this morning after the water in the humidifier was gone. I feel generally awful, too, so I canceled my appointment this afternoon (which was at the Sleep Lab, ironically).

This after last night's bout of *Extreme Hatred* while I was trying to go to sleep. I desperately hated the idea of having to go out yet again, and this hatred accumulated momentum until it became "I hate everything about my life, I hate living!" Fortunately the storm passed overnight, and this morning I washed up on the shore of waking like a shipwrecked dream-sailor, exhausted, aching and spent.

In my near-delirium this A.M., I accumulated a lot of info during my morning web-scraping, including some really interesting stuff about Asperger's Syndrome. The descriptions ring with eery accuracy, but I still reject any attempt at self-diagnosis as yet another attempt to find an excuse for my being a messed-up loser.

Still, compelling stuff:

About Asperger's Syndrome: from NYT article

They typically have a penchant for accuracy and a hard-wired dislike for the disruption of routine.

Unusually sensitive to light, touch and noise, some shrink from handshakes and hugs. Humor, which so often depends on tone of voice and familiarity with social customs, can be hard for them to comprehend. Although many have talents like memory for detail and an ability to focus intently for long periods, Aspies often end up underemployed and lonely. Unlike more severely impaired autistics, they often crave social intimacy, and they are acutely aware of their inability to get it.

Those with the condition often develop a passion for a narrow field that drives them to excel in it, but fail to realize when they are driving others crazy by talking about it. And they are reflexively honest, a trait that can be refreshing — or not.
The recent spike in diagnoses of autism in people who are generally able to function in society has prompted some to suggest that it is an excuse for bad behavior or the latest clinical fad. But psychologists and researchers say they are simply better able to recognize the condition now. While many people may have a few of the traits and just one or two of the genes, to qualify for an Asperger's diagnosis they typically must have developed obsessive interests and social difficulties at an early age that now significantly impair their ability to function.
Pretending to be normal, even for a few hours, is mentally exhausting, many Aspies say. But for some, the diagnosis is an inspiration to master what autism experts call the hidden curriculum: social rules everyone knows but could never say how they learned.
"Almost everyone I contacted about this were either sort of perplexed or — I don't want to say hostile," said Mr. Hatton, who said he had been fired from more than 26 jobs over the last two decades and now received federal disability assistance. "They thought I had found an excuse or something."
United by their newfound identity, Asperger adults, so used to being outcasts, are finding themselves part of an unlikely community. Through online and in-person support groups, many are for the first time sharing the pains and occasional pleasures of feeling, as one puts it, "like extraterrestrials stranded on earth."
From abstract of other article
Asperger's syndrome, recently diagnosed form of autism; such children talk like adults and often are extremely intelligent, but have no social skills; neurological disorder disproportionately affects males and leaves them unable to decipher basic visual social signals...

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