It's Autism Awareness Month!
It's Autism Awareness Month and until last year I was completely UNaware that I am autistic. This knowledge has given me so much compassion and understanding for myself and others (and there is still more to learn). My neurotype is inseparable from how I have been practicing medicine all these years and I thank my ancestors for guiding me into a calling that just FITS.
Attention to detail, webbed thinking, and pattern recognition. When I work with a patient I collect information from ALL aspects of their life to understand how to work with them holistically. It is never just about the disease. It is about the person and their context which includes the communal, environmental, spiritual, physical, and historical.
Hypersensitivity. I am very sensitive to stimuli like scents, textures, and sounds. In everyday life this can be difficult, strong scents and sounds can overwhelm me and cause meltdowns, but in the clinic it is extremely useful. My diagnoses are informed by palpatory exams to detect sensations like heat, texture, tightness, and movement in the body. These subtle sensations give me real time biofeedback about where to needle and how someone is responding to a treatment.
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For more on my autism journey checkout Episode 8 of The Decolonizing Medicine Podcast.
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