This #AutisticElder Begins… to Worry… about Dementia.

"Extinguished," original digital illustration of extinguished candle & snuffer.

I’ll be 68 on June 4, 2021.

Trust me. That’s a long time to be autistic. Average lifespan of a male autistic estimated at 53…

Over the last year, I began to worry. I may be feeling…

Oncoming dementia.

Which is terrifying…

Frankly.

And most unfortunately… (since periods of random confusion are clearly among “signs” to ponder…)

I am confused.

Maybe, I’m more deeply aware of my late-diagnosed autistic mind?…

Or, maybe, just maybe… I’m about to blog for y’all…

the slow, steady decline…

of the one bodily organ,

I could ever rely on…

to survive…

My brain.

Hell. I seem to thrive on blogging about icky stuff. Stuff that folks find hard to talk about.

So… to begin… finally,…

Since my last birthday…

I go through longer, more frequent dark depressions. Fact, most of last winter, I couldn’t find bottom.
Now, granted… since mid-teens, I’ve had wider emotional ranges than average. As in diagnosed bipolar a fair while.
But, and…

I live longer, ever deeper periods of paranoia. As in a few a month.
Suspecting motives.
Distrusting people.
Feeling everything is unreal… sinister.
Etc.
Etc.
I did experience a few brief episodes, lasting hours-to-days… decades apart, between teenage & 60. Normally triggered by exhaustion. Plus, the current state of the US could freak anybody out.
But, and…

My short-term memory…
Difficulty focusing moment to moment…
Constantly losing phone, keys, wallet…
Inability to find words…
Failing memory for faces, names…
Rapid mental decline after 6 pm…
Sudden fits of unaccustomed, cranky anger…
Persistent fatigue — mental, emotional, physical…
Yes, these all can be elements of autism. But, and…

They are all decidedly much worse. And noticed & remarked on by those close to me.

Even those who know my autism. Very well.

I must remember,…

  • last year I exercised less,
  • socialized less,
  • ate more,
  • drank more,
  • smoked more non-nicotine-containing substances,…

and generally did everything I could do to NOT age gracefully.

Blaming my inertia on fear of the Covid…

All tendencies I’m changing. Fast as I can.

And yet…

It is possible some autistics may experience aging minds early. I don’t know of such research. But folks who experience trouble sleeping, a great deal of stress, experience burnouts…

Autistics…

May age differently than the medical model suggests. Or maybe I just went craps in my own personal game of “Guess My Genes.”

I’ll keep you posted. Cuz I think talking about this… might be important to some.

I don’t know another #AutisticSurvivor who does talk about this.

Ya know…

Out loud. When someone else could hear.

And I want you to know…

A part of me…

Autistic me…

Can’t contain my bursting curiosity… about finally knowing…

Unknowing…

Or… Not Knowing…

A few of the mysteries…

That there’s only one way to know.

#AutisticJoy. Bittersweet. But there it is.


P.S. No. I don’t have Covid. Or CFS. And I love you anyway.

2 Comments

  1. mikenet1 says:

    Have you ever taken the AQ test on Wired Magazines site? I scored 41 out of 50 on it. BTW, I’m 74 and have no intention of leaving the earth anytime soon.https://www.wired.com/2001/12/aqtest/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I misremember… It’s been some years. It might have been 48?

      I do remember my psychologist diagnostician out me 3 standard deviations over normal population on both scales he used.

      I’m glad to make your acquaintance! You are my new role model!

      Liked by 1 person

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