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I'm not a regular here at KosAbility.

I wrote one diary for this group,
three years ago:

KosAbility: Congenital Muscular Dystrophy: Dave, Pam, and Jeff's disease

That diary was about the disability
that shortened the lives
of my first wife, Pam,
and her two brothers,
who all had the same disability.

I'm now happily remarried,
and my new bride and I
live in an old house
that needs much repair;
but it's a big house,
and we live here with
two of her brothers,
and her uncle,
and a cousin who just moved in.

That gives me more disabilities to write about!

Join me below the divider doodle.

KosAbility logoKosAbility is a community diary series posted at 5 pm ET/2 pm PT every Sunday by volunteer diarists. This is a gathering place for people who are living with disabilities, who love someone with a disability, or who want to know more about the issues surrounding this topic. Our use of "disability" includes temporary as well as permanent conditions, and small, gnawing problems as well as big, life-threatening ones. Our use of "love someone" extends to beloved members of other species.

Our discussion threads are open threads in the context of this community. Please feel free to comment on the diary topic and ask questions of the diarist, and also to ask general questions about disabilities, share something you've learned, tell bad jokes, post photos, or rage about the unfairness of your situation. Our only rule is to be kind; trolls will be spayed or neutered. If you are interested in contributing a diary, contact series coordinator postmodernista.

Back in 2006,
I was suffering from depression,
caused by the pre-grief
that was triggered by
the severe illness
and looming prospect of death
of my first wife, Pam.

I went to one psychiatrist,
who heard me rambling on,
as I often do,
and thought I was bi-polar,
and prescribed lithium.

I didn't notice any effect
from taking lithium.

The doctor changed me to another drug,
which hit me like a shot of liquor,
and scared me.

I tossed the drug,
and quit going to the doctor.

Early in 2008,
just before Pam died,
I was feeling very bad.

I went to ComCare,
our county subsidized clinic,
to see a psychiatrist,
and was told I have

cyclothymic disorder.


•Episodes of hypomania (see: Bipolar disorder) and mild depression occur for at least 2 years (1 or more years in children and adolescents)

I was also told,
at my second appointment,
my case was not severe enough
to require any medication.

My second appointment at ComCare
was just after Pam died.

I must have told them,
I was dreading the idea of living
as a single man,
without good old Pam at my side.

They told me
I don't need medication,
since my biggest problem
was a fear of loneliness,
they said,
"We don't have a pill for that."

My point in writing all that,
is to say that I am a man with a disability.

I am mentally ill.

A mild case,
no meds,
but officially diagnosed,
mentally ill.

And, on top of the cyclothymic disorder,
I'm apparently on the autism spectrum.

I haven't gotten an official diagnosis
by a psychiatrist,
but I asked my family practice doctor
if I'm on the spectrum,
and she said,
her daughter is very much
on the spectrum,
and she described one of her daughter's symptoms,
which was making up a catch phrase,
and repeating said phrase,
over and over;
very annoying.

My doctor advised me to look it up online.

I took the

Asperger's test.

Questions like this:


39. People often tell me that I keep going on and on about the same thing.

and similar questions,
told me,
I'm truly on the autism spectrum.

One symptom of my autism
that you are,
right now,
either enjoying or tolerating,
is the way I write,
in short lines.

My autism causes me to analyze things,
more than most folks do.

My analysis
of English composition
tells me:
this style is the easiest to read,
the fastest and most effective way
to transfer information
from my brain to yours,
using characters on a computer screen.

Those who disagree,
are those who cannot break free
from their habit of moving their eyes way across the page, on and on, like this, on and on.

They feel awkward,
almost in pain,
when they move their eyes







But I'm going to keep on writing
this way.

It might seem like
the apparent insensitive nature
of those of us on the autism spectrum.

But consider the tale

the man, the boy, and the donkey.


they cut down a pole, tied the donkey's feet to it, and raised the pole and the donkey to their shoulders. They went along amid the laughter of all who met them till they came to Market Bridge, when the Donkey, getting one of his feet loose, kicked out and caused the Boy to drop his end of the pole. In the struggle the Donkey fell over the bridge, and his fore-feet being tied together he was drowned.

The moral of the story is,
if you try to please everyone,
you'll not only
fail to please anyone,
but you'll lose your ass,
in the process.

One last note on my combination
of disorders:

I analyze many things,
such as the coming famine in America,
caused by the end of oil,
around the year 2040 or 2050,
as mentioned in my sig line.

since my natural cyclothymic high
is enhanced when anyone
simply listens to me,
looking at me with interest
and apparent understanding,
I find it hard to stop talking,
when explaining the coming famine,
or anything else I've analyzed.

I eventually annoy
just about everyone that way.

I stumbled across this diary:

at this group,
and it reminded me,
I have osteoarthritis,

I work pretty hard,
at my Walmart job.

Most days,
I've been asked to help unload the trucks.

It's a challenge for me,
pushing me to the limits of my stamina.

But as hard as it is,
for an old man like me,
(nearly 59 years old)
I usually enjoy the actual work itself.

The problem is,
when I take a break,
after the break,
when it's time to get up,
out of the chair,
I have to work past
a great deal of arthritis pain,
in my feet,
my legs,
my back.

For the lower back pain,
I bend over,
and 'touch my toes,'
so to speak.

I'm tired right now,
but let me list
the disabilities
of others in my household.

My wife's uncle Randall
has a very severe injury in his ankle,
a shattered ankle held together with screws.

He walks around okay,
but when he comes to my big Walmart,
he used one of the electric scooters.

My wife, Tonia, has bad knees,
and she weighs 375 pounds,
even though a great deal of that weight is muscle,
she uses the Walmart scooters,
as well.

she has type II diabetes.

My point of this diary is,
everyone can be called disabled,

normal is just a setting on the washing machine.

Thanks for reading.

Post script:

I'll be at work
when this diary posts,
but I'll read all the comments
when I get home,
and I may reply to most of them.

Go to your comments,
and see my replies,
if any.

Originally posted to KosAbility on Sun Apr 27, 2014 at 04:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Kitchen Table Kibitzing.

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