Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Oh happy day

I was really nervous going into today. Today was the appointment with the psychiatrist for the evaluation to determine whether I am "mentally fit to work," and if so, in what capacity. I didn't have any idea what I was getting into, what he would ask me, whether I would tell him that I have autism or not, whether he would pick up on it in a 2-hour long session. How was I going to survive the 2-hour session? That was the other issue. I put my pumpkin in my purse, wore a new cotton sweatsuit kind of outfit that my mom got me that actually goes together so I'd look put together (says mom), and kept a squishy toy in my hand the entire time.

It turned out to be a straightforward Mental Status Exam, which Leigh had to practice doing and practiced on me last year. I knew what was coming. It was even the exact same questions (i.e., the same numbers in the math problems, the same words to spell, the same proverbs to explain... which I still didn't know!). Once I realized that it was the same thing, I felt so much better. I could do that. I told him that I felt like I was cheating! He said that it's okay, because a lot of people get more than one MSE.

After 90 minutes of question after question, his conclusion was that I have autism and anxiety (but no depression). He thinks that I can work in some capacity, perhaps 16 or at most 20 hours a week, but no more, without shutting down. He's going to report that to the SSI people. I should hear within 30-60 days. He says that if I am denied, I should appeal, because I am really, really eligible for SSI, moreso than a lot of other people he says are eligible. So, time will tell what happens. Please send up a prayer about it!

After the appointment is when my happy day started. I looooove fall/harvest things, and it was time for Mom and I to go pick a pumpkin! First, we had to stop and get some pumpkin ice cream to prepare (mmm, ice cream!). Then, we went to the farm. They have a whole section dedicated to allergen-free foods, so we stocked up on some GF breads, animal cookies, cake mixes, and stuffing bits for Thanksgiving. I heard crazy noises coming from somewhere, and I followed them to find... a pig! And a cow, and a donky, and some goats and a bunny and sheep! I had never met a cow, and this little calf was adorable. See for yourself!

Then, finally, we found a nice, big pumpkin. I'll be at a bowling/out-to-dinner party with the autism group on Halloween, so we aren't going to carve it. I love it, in all its orange, pumpkiny glory. Here's mom and the pumpkin!


  1. Did they tell you three words and then tell you to repeat them at the end of the session? Did they ask you who the mayor is? Did they make you stand on one foot? That stuff is so embarassing to me!

  2. Terrific that you weren't depressed (or diagnosed as such). The anxiety can really cover for it, though!

    I think both the calf and the donkey were cute.

    Great to be able to get the food that you needed and is good for you to eat.

  3. Hi Lydia's Mum!!

    Glad to hear you won't be missing out on seasonal food and treats.

    Sounds like the test guy was up to the job.

  4. They did four words: atlas, desk, pencil, clock. The asked me who the governor is (I said "I don't know!" then named him. They didn't ask me to hop, but they did ask me to fold a paper in half and drop it on the floor. I can repeat up to 12 numbers back before I can't focus long enough to listen... he said that's really good, anyway!

    It's really nice to have good food. I tried a pumpkin muffin today and GF chicken nuggets... both were fantastic.

    I like the picture of my mom :)

  5. OMG pumpkin ice cream! :) Glad to hear the MSE went well. I bet the pumpkin helped too :) I'll be praying about the SSI stuff too!