That’s a first…

Today something happend that has never happend before…

A little backstory is in order tho. For me working with a daily scheduele and a weekplanner with all my appointments in them works best. It is also something I take pride in. I can make my own appointments and make sure I do turn up in time.

Most of the time I use a digital planner on my phone and an old fashioned paper one. However for today’s appointment with my gp to discuss my medication I did not put the appointmet in my paper planner, I just used the app on my phone and as always set a reminder.

However that specific alarm did not go off this morning and as a result of that I missed the schedueled appointment time. Imagine my shock when my phone rang and my gp was on the other end.

Luckily he was very understanding and sugested we would do the consult by phone. It all turned out for the best and I have learned my lesson big time. Even tho it did turn out for the better I still feel quite embarrassed by all of it.

All my following appointments will be noted in both the app and the paper planner so I never have to experience it again.

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A small experiment

On the 13th of May I descided to post the following on my twitter acount “Hope this will not bite me in the a**.. If you could ask me anything about my autism without judgement from my side, what would you ask me? #autismawareness #autismacceptance “. Because I wanted to see what people would ask me if they got the chance and of course to raise awareness.

I was hoping to get loads of questions but I think a lot of people are afraid of being judged. So far I’ve had one friend asking me a couple of questions combined and today I tried my best to answer them for her.

This is what she asked me:

What was it that led to you reaching out to a professional, which in turn brought about the diagnosis of #Autism. What were the ‘signs’? What made you ‘think’ you were ‘different’? #nojudgement 🙂

Since twitter does have its limitations, I wanted to adress them in my blog as well. I reached out to a professional because with my fysio things were not adding up and they suggested a multi-disciplinary approach. After 11 sessions and not talking about a possible #autism diagnosis I got a new referral letter and had talked about it with my store manager, she pointed out some things, not handeling change very well being one of them. Sorry but I can’t remember the rest of the things she said… I talked to my psychologist and we went from there. As it turns out he had his suspicions from the beginning but since I kept sending mixed signals he wasn’t to sure. He didn’t point them out to me because he didn’t want to throw me off, however once I asked whether or not I would have autism he honestly told me what he suspected from the beginning.

Looking back now I now know that my small social circle and having trouble picking up non-verbal signs, not being able to handle change, loud sounds, strong smells and a whole lot of other things were always a sign of my #autism.

I’ve always had a feeling that I never fit properly in the what I now know is the Neuro Typical world. I know now that it’s because my brain is wired differently and my way of processing information is different than those without autism.

That does not take away that I am in fact a perfectly normal autistic person!

If you do have any more questions, feel free to ask them. I promise I will not bite :).

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An unexpected turn….

Today (may 10th) is mothersday here in The Netherlands and since I had not seen my mom for quite some time and due to the pandemic curently going on I could not visit her in person, I decided to video call her.

Although we had a lovely conversation in general, the tone of the conversation changed for me when mom made some ignorant and condescending comments on autism and my diagnosis in general. To me it looks like she does not take my diagnosis serious and she has no idea how much she is hurting me with the comments she made. I am however happy that I was video calling her because the non-verbal communication she used made that all to clear.

The “funny” thing tho, when getting my indication for assistance renewed, one of the goals they mentioned is the relationship with my mom and they would love to see it improve for the better. However I do have on question about that, how do you work with a person that clearly does not accept you for who you are and makes fun of your diagnosis?

That however is not the only question I got right now, but I’ll leave it at this for now.

Happy Mothersday!

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Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been hearing from lots of people that they want to go back to normal. While I do get why they would like that, the “normal” that they are reffering to wasn’t working.

That “normal” has contributed to the rapid spread of the coronavirus and a lot of people only think about themselves first.

They have not realised that their “normal” has already changed and it will keep on changing. For some those changes will be a positive thing and for others it will be a negative.

My “normal” has changed to and like life itself it has been with ups and downs. I miss going out for a walk or going to the gym and staying after my own session to talk to the elderly who are already lonely. I miss seeing my therapists face to face, being able to go get some groceries and not taking to long. Most of all, I miss being able to go see my family and friends. Due to my autism, my social circle is already very small but those interactions give me a lot of distractions from what is going on with my mental health.

I am glad that I’ve found an online workout that does the trick for me, physical it is really tough but it gives me a chance to clear my head. ( Thank you @isaacboots on Instagram). With therapy we’ve changed it up and dove into the psychologie theory. It’s lots of information to get trough but I am happy with that because I love to read and learn new skills.

And to those who are struggeling… You’ve got this and you are not alone! Reach out if you need to and feel free to shoot me a message.

Stay safe everyone and stay at home!

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My quarantine so far….

Since the first confirmed contamination on the 27th of Februari here in The Netherlands a lot has changed. On the 9th of March the first set of hygiene messures were put in place, don’t shake hands, wash your hands, use paper towels and if you need to sneeze or cough do so in your elbow. This resulted in people hoarding supplies like toiletpaper, paracetamol and handsanitiser.

On March 11th the amount of people who contracted the virus exceeded the 500 mark and the very next day new messures were put in place. Those who were having sympthoms like coughing, nasal congestion, had a fever or had a sore throath had to stay home. They also asked to practice social distancing, gatherings of a 100 plus people where cancelled and those who are able to work from home to do so.

As of sunday the 15th of March at 5.30 pm during a press conference there was an anouncement that the catering industry, gyms, sauna’s, sexshops and coffeeshops had to close at 6pm that same day. The next day they were followed by the schools and childcare. Fore those children whose parents are crucial workers (police, fire, healthcare, public transport) there were exeptions. A day later some of the messures where changed. Take- out was still allowed as were the coffeeshops, this to prevent illegal drugdealing. People were also asked to stay 1,5 meters apart from eachother.

Nursing homes and small-scale housing in elderly care were closed from March 20 for visitors and others who were not necessary for basic care.
More stringent measures were called for on March 23. Rutte called these measures an intelligent lockdown. Grouping of more than two people in public space was prohibited. An exception was made for persons who shared a household.
Practicing almost all contact professions was prohibited. This included masseurs, hairdressers, nail stylists, prostitutes and driving instructors. An exception was made for (para) medical professions. Casinos, arcades and comparable institutions were closed. Shops and markets were allowed to remain open as long as the 1.5 meter distance and the applicable hygiene measures were observed. Holiday parks, camping sites, parks, nature reserves and beaches could be closed by the authorities if visitors were not kept 1.5 meters away. Households were only allowed to receive visits from a maximum of three people, although a minimum distance of 1.5 meters had to be maintained. In case of violation, adults could be fined 390 euros, minors 95 euros. Companies could be fined up to 4,350 euros. In the public space, enforcers were deployed to ensure that everyone expected to keep a distance of at least 1.5 meters. In supermarkets, the use of a shopping cart and, in the absence thereof, a shopping cart was made mandatory in order to automatically create distance. Various shops and supermarkets proceeded to disinfect the shopping cart and shopping cart immediately after use.

For myself, all of this means that my mental health has taken a blow. My daily structure has gone to shambles but it has also shown me that having good health is a precious thing. To think of it, it’s only been a little over a month so far.

My family has not taken much interest in me, not even when I caught a “cold”. However I do know who my good friends are and who I can count on to pick me up when I am down.

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Fear of the unknown and how I deal with it…

Fear of the unknown… Writing this blog today is a little different then those I normaly write because this one is o so true. With the coronavirus still spreading around like wildfire and me catching something as well. I do not know what the future holds.

I do NOT know if I’ve caught the virus because with mild symptoms like mine you will not get tested here in The Netherlands simply because there are not enough testingkits available at this moment. They are reserved for those who end up in the hospital. So for now, it’s staying at home away from everyone until everything clears (staying positive). Not knowing what’s ahead is what does scare me but a friend of mine made a great refference with the surgery I had on my foot. I did not know the outcome of the surgery beforehand, it took longer then expected to recover but I have made it and I am a different person because of it.

With my autism however, the knowing means comfort, security and predictability. One of my strongsuits however is that I absolutely love learning new things and that is how I am looking at this. The whole experience around this bloody virus is a chance to teach myself new skills and come out on top.

Take care everybody and stay safe!

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The craziness….

With the coronavirus that continues to spread, this last week has been a crazy one. A lot of my regular scheduele has changed, not being able to go to the gym, my therapy luckily is via skype now and the home repairs are put off until further notice.

This has forced me to come up with a new scheduele and so far I am doing okay with it. I am trying not to plan ahead to much, just in case something changes again.

The thing that does frustrate me is that people are treating this as a joke. They’ve asked us to practice social distancing.. stay 1,5 – 2 meters apart from eachother when you do have to go outside. Jet people still go out to parks, malls etc… Are people really that selfish? Think about your elderly parents, grandparents and not to mention those with a compromised imunsystem! Together we can flatten the curve!

Stay safe everyone!

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