Sunday, January 4, 2015

Dear Suicidal Teens (And How Dear You Are, Indeed)

Dear Suicidal Aspie Teen (Or Autistic Teen, Or Teen With PDD-NOS, Or ADHD Teen, Or OCD Teen, Or Bipolar Teen, or Depressed Teen, or Gay Teen, or Trans Teen, or Bullied Teen, or Abused Teen, or Whoever You May Be):

I can’t promise that you’ll wake up one morning and your world will be filled with endless sunshine (or moonlight, if that’s more your style) and happiness and prosperity and that you’ll never have another self-loathing or suicidal thought ever again. I can’t promise that you’ll ever be the most well-liked person in your school or workplace or that you’ll never be bullied or loathed or put-down ever again. I can’t promise that your world will be any less overwhelming, any less dizzying, or any less difficult to live in than it is now. I can’t promise that you’ll become the next Nobel Prize winner, the next Pulitzer-winning author, the next Grammy-winning musical artist, the next Oscar-winning actor or actress, the next gold-medal Olympian, or what-have-you. I wish all of these things for you, of course, but I’m no psychic; I haven’t a clue what your future holds.

But having dealt with suicidal urges since the age of twelve, I do know this: staying alive is worth it.
Now, some of you may be thinking, “Yeah, well, staying alive may be worth it for you, but you don’t know me, and you don’t know the hell I live in.” And, indeed, I do not. I don’t know if you having a loving family or supportive friends; I don’t know if you have family or friends at all. I don’t know what it’s like to have your exact sensory issues, your exact deficits, your exact anxieties and fears, your exact tics and stims, your exact pain, your exact loneliness, or your exact regrets. I don’t know if you’ll ever graduate high school or college, and I don’t know if you’ll ever get a job (fun fact: I turn 20 years old in a month, I’m a straight-A student who supposedly has “decent social skills,” and I have never been employed a day in my life. It’s not just you, I promise). I know what it’s like to have my PDD-NOS, to have my weakness and inadequacies and painful memories and regrets, but I don’t know what it’s like to have yourstruggles, and I’m not going to pretend that I do.

 But I know what you do have: you have yourself, and that “you” deserves a chance—a chance to try, a chance to experience, and a chance to find beauty in this world. See, there’ll be moments that you’ll be glad that you stuck around to experience. I can’t promise that the moments will be particularly abundant, but I can promise you that they’re there. There’ll be a song that you never heard before that sends chills from the tip of your head to the core of your being. There’ll be a time when you help a stranger, perhaps even an act so small, so inconsequential to you that you have no idea it was an act of kindness at all, and that stranger will tell you that you made their day, and your heart will beat a little lighter for a little while. There’ll be that hobby that you get into, a hobby that you may or may not ever be “good” at, that will fill you with awe and, well, fun! There’ll be a way that the sunset scatters across the clouds, a way that the leaves tumble from the trees or that the wind sweeps across a field of tall grass, a way that the rain will dance along the rooftops, that will take your breath away, even if for only a second. There’ll be a contest that you enter that you swear that there’s no way you will win or place in…but you do, because you’re more incredible than the self-loathing thoughts in your head will ever let you believe. There’ll be battles that you win, discoveries that you make, and joys that you have that bring you happiness just when you thought that happiness could no longer exist.

And maybe it’s presumptuous of me to assume that the little moments of happiness are worth dealing with whatever pain you are dealing with. But consider this: maybe you’re somebody else’s small miracle, somebody else’s stranger, smile, random occurrence that makes their day or even their life, and maybe your dark thoughts are being conniving little jerks that aren’t letting you see this.

Sometimes, you mean a lot more to a person than you’ll ever be able to believe.

Throughout most of my adolescence, I swore that my father merely tolerated me because he had to and that his life would be indefinitely better without me in it. It wasn’t his choice for his wife to give birth to his child when he was 48 years old, when his other children were already grown up and getting on with their own lives and when retirement was just over the horizon. It wasn’t his choice for that child to be “developmentally delayed” and for that child to need speech therapy and special education. It wasn’t his choice for my mother, through no fault of her own, to be forcefully removed from our family picture when I was six. It wasn’t his choice to have a daughter who threw deafening tantrums in the middle of crowded supermarkets and for strangers to judge his parenting skills. It wasn’t his choice to have a teenager that bit and scratched herself, that would almost get them both killed with her inability to distinguish “No!” from “Go!” from the driver’s seat of her small car,  that made him stay up late at night sobbing with worry. It wasn’t his choice to have a kid like me.  I thought that there was no possible way that he could have trulyloved me—all I ever seemed to do was drain and irritate him, and he didn’t deserve the trouble I put him through.

And I told him this in a therapy session one day; I told him how sorry I was for ruining his life and how I wish that I could be a better daughter, one that didn’t make things so worrysome for him. He was absolutely flabbergasted; he swore that I was the best thing that ever happened to him. Many days, I highly doubt that this is at all true, but the way his eyes almost glistened with tears (note: this is a man who passes large kidney stones and attends family members’ funerals without even hinting at a tear) that day tells me that I must mean something to the guy. He said that I keep him young, that his later years would have been so much less colorful without me in it. Now, I’m sure that I age him much more than I refresh him, but maybe the goofy poetry that I write inside of hand-made cards serves as a Fountain of Youth running behind those wrinkled eyes. Also, I’m his personal tech support; I’m the one that taught him how to use an iPhone and how to set up a Facebook account. That has to count for something, right?

See, we humans aren’t too good at telling our fellow humans how much they mean to us. It may well be that where you look in the mirror and see a burden, an aggravation, a chronic screw-up, others see a joy, a blessing, a person worth having around and a person that makes their lives better simply by you being in it. When you see yourself as unlikable, you may wonder how anyone else could possibly like you, either—I,  personally, tend to expect that everyone sees me as bothersome or annoying and am often very taken aback when someone admits any sort of fondness towards me. But you are likeable, and chances are that there’s at least somebody out there who has a fondness towards you and who would be sad if they could no longer experience your presence. 

And I know that you can know and believe all of this and that it still won’t take the thoughts and feelings away. I still feel absolutely worthless and useless many days, and I still don’t particularly like myself as a person sometimes.  Knowing all of this about the beauty of living and about how loved I really am doesn’t do much to keep the images of a knife cutting through my throat or my body dangling from a tree by a rope from popping up from time to time. It’s an on-going battle, one that you may have to fight every single day or even every single hours. It’s not at all a fair battle, it’s not at all an easy battle, and it surely isn’t a fun battle, but it’s a battle worth fighting, and it’s a battle that you’re more equipped to fight that you may ever feel that you are. And the good news is that there are so many people fighting this battle alongside you and that would be more than happy to help you recharge your ammo. There’s the National and Regional suicidal hotlines for your area (United States: 1-800-784-2433 ; U.K: 08457 90 90 90 ; here’s a pretty comprehensive list:, as well as several online chatrooms, such as There’s the members of this Aspie Life group. There’s me, if that’s anything. There are so many people who want you to win this battle, who want you to live, who want you to experience happiness and success and all that life has to offer. There are reasons to keep fighting. I promise. 
Because I know that I can’t promise that you’ll ever win a Nobel, a Pulitzer, a Grammy, an Oscar, or an Olympic gold medal, that you’ll ever have an abundance of friends or your dream career or a lover or even a degree, but, you know, you just might, and the only way to find out is to stick around and see. 

Submitted January 4th, 2015 
Author: Paula Gomez
Click blue link for: Email Contact

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Update and a New Year

It has been a long haul through the first semester of college for Keegan (you can find him and I on AspieLife on FB). College opened up a whole new set of stressors we had not encountered yet. Anxiety attacks, meltdowns, and panic! However, I am proud to say Keeg passed with all As and Bs.

Keeg has picked up a few more diagnosis since he started college, the most recent being Eosinophilic Esophagitis. However, that new diagnosis explains the uncontrolled vomiting he had as a child every time he ate, the choking he's had for years, and so much more. You can read about it on WEbMD.

Keeg hasn't posted on this blog but he has posted on the FB AspieLife page along with others. Feel free to catch upthere !

Asperger Suicide SCREAMS

It came to my attention most recently that the blog posts that receives the most views across all my blogs is the one I posted about a local 14 year old teen with Asperger Syndrome that committed suicide.

It has also come to my attention most recently that the majority of the people reading that blog post are those with Aspergers contemplating suicide. The second runner ups are their parents.

My heart is breaking. I am the mother of two on the Autism spectrum. I have seen so much heartache and pain.

When I was a young teen, even though I did not have Aspergers, I attempted suicide. I remember that hopelessness. I felt like I was all alone in the world and no one else could understand.


If you have Aspergers and are thinking about suicide, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Because right now there are others from ALL OVER THE WORLD that are logging onto the internet, punching some words into a search engine, and coming to read the blog posts because THEY ARE ALSO SUICIDAL.

I can't say I understand Aspergers. I wish I did. As a mother I wish it so very much. I would love to understand why my sons feel and think the way they do. But there is hope. There is always hope. Even if the hope is only that you aren't alone.

Please, don't commit suicide. You are beautiful. You are put here, on a planet you feel is alien, to teach neurotyps like me what I am supposed to be.

Join us on Facebook at AspieLife. My son started this FB group to bring together not just those on the Autism Spectrum, but also those that love them and care! He said that all the groups were either for people on the spectrum, or were for those that loved someone on the spectrum but all that seemed to do was alienate us farther apart. He wanted somewhere that we could all share, and talk, and CARE. A place of acceptance and support. So, he created AspieLife. Please, come join us there and know you are not alone.

If you are a parent, sibling, friend, spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, workmate, etc of someone on the Spectrum and YOU CARE then please join us on AspieLife.

You are not alone. Any of you. Regardless of how you feel, what you think, what you've done, what you will do......... I LOVE YOU.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

T1D Aspie College Fund

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Keegan. I turned17 years old a month ago. I have Aspergers which is a form of Autism. I also have Type 1 Diabetes, which was diagnosed September, Friday the 13th, of last year. Since I was 4 years old, I've had serious immune system issues that specialists have not been able to accurrately diagnose. Since they haven't been able to diagnose me, you can't treat an undiagnosed illness. That means that I can't really get the help I need. For me personally, it means I get exhausted easily and sometimes end up in hospital for large amounts of time. I get sick easily also.
Something really cool is that I have Situs Inversus Totalis. This means that all my organs are on the opposite side. For all you Trekkie fans out there, Situs Inversus plus Aspergers means I'm a Vulcan because with Aspergers I think very logically. I also suffer from migraines (from mind melding too much). I have severe allergies to everything environmental (everything that has to do with outside such as trees, flowers, grasses, hays, molds, etc). Except penicillin.
Because of my Aspergers, I don't have common sense. So I joke around with everyone about it. When I do something that doesn't makee sense, people say, “It's not rocket science” and I say, “If it was rocket science, I'd get it!”
Because of Aspergers and my health issues, I have a hard time concentrating and I get distracted easily. I also stay pretty weak. This makes it hard for me to get a job, attend a full course load in college, drive, and take care of my own needs.
My dreams are to go to college so that I can have the knowledge to create video games. I want to create fun video games that will help people with special needs develop the skills they need in real life. For example, a game that will teach them to interact with neuro-typicals. Or, the game might help them to undersand facial expressions (we have problems with that). I want the games to be an exciting game that you'd find on a top seller list.
Also, as I sale these games, I will donate a percentage of profits to different non-profit organizations that help kids with special needs such as Aspergers, Type 1 Diabetes, Cerebral Palsy, etc.
As of today, I am OFFICIALLY enrolled in college. I have enrolled in an Associates Degree progam in Simulation and Game Design. I am excited. But, I don't have everything I need for college. Our family does not have the money needed to get my stuff for college. I also have a pell grant but it's not enough to cover everything I need. It will cover tuition costs though.
In addition to tuition, I also need the following:
*Basic school supplies (binder, notebooks, pencils, pens, sketch pad, etc)
*A computer that ideally will have an i7 processor, a nVidia 850 graphics card, and at least 16gb ram. This is needed because of the work we'll be doing in class on the computer.
*Transportation costs to get back and forth to the campus
*An external hard drive to back up all data
*Books for courses
I feel kind of bad for asking people for money because I never do. I am used to living on what little funds we do have so I can't really get the stuff I want or need. I really want to go to college because it will be something I can do that will help me make money and that I can do while resting (so I don't get to worn out). I will also be able to make money so I can help others instead of people offering to help us.
Any amount of money will be of help. Thanks in advance for helping out. Once able, I will always help people out.
Any extra funds that are left over in my educational fund when I'm done with my degree will be donated to anybody else I find that has special needs and needs help with college.
Thank you for your help in following my dreams.
Keegan Duffy
PS: Courses start August 18th so I'd like to have my needed supplies by then! 

Monday, December 30, 2013

From Highs To Lows

Keeg has truly been struggling. It breaks my heart and I wish that I could help him. He had an Aspie breakdown today. In addition to his health concerns, we've had a very traumatic outside force wreaking havoc on our life and the stress has been considerable.

Keeg's last visit with his endo showed that his A1C has dropped to 5.2. While seemingly ideal, it actual means that he is having way to many lows. His doctor has decreased his Levimir to 100 units at night, yet he is still waking from his low sugars (50s to 60s).

The endo stated that this is considered his "honeymoon" stage. The stage where it appears the pancreas is suddenly working and creating insulin. She stated that it doesn't last long, and soon we'll be battling highs again.

Keeg also has an inner ear infection and feels terrible, so he doesn't want to eat. He is alternating between excessive overwhelming hunger, and the desire not to eat at all. No good for fluctuating sugars.

We are still awaiting his appointments with his many other specialists.

We are embracing the positive and happy moments and using them as the sails to pull us into tomorrow.

With love,
his mom

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Update: Immunology, New Insulin, and more...

First, my apologies. So many of you have asked me for updates on Keeg. In all truth, after our visit with immunology, I shied away from blogging. Putting into words all I felt at that time was a bit to much. Now though, I've had some time to process and deal, and now is the time to share.

Keeg visited his immunologist. We had more labs run (ALOT) and are still waiting results. We have been referred (again) to an allergist, hematology, and geneticist. As soon as lab results come back, we will lay out a plan for immunotherapy. Basically, the docs want to start manipulating his immune system to see if they can get it to quit attacking his own body. I don't have a lot of details, but will at a future visit. Hopefully, the worst case scenario is just that.... a scenario and not reality. Worst case being that he is Type 1 Diabetic because his immune system attacked his own pancreas, as it may do other organs.

Keeg is having difficulty swallowing. It feels like something is stuck in his throat. Food does get stuck in his throat. He's been tested for cilia dysfunction previously, but it looks like we'll be referred back to the ENT to test again. It's a horrible battle. He has to count his carbs for his meal, take insulin based on those carbs, then eat the amount of food he counted carbs for. However, when he gets to where he can't swallow, it results in his having taken to much insulin. He has to take his insulin BEFORE he eats, so inability to finish his meal really messes up his sugar level!

Keeg stays tired. Although we had hoped this would clear up in a few weeks due to diabetic management, it appears that his immune system is still wreaking havoc. He is so weak, tired, even lethargic at times. Apologetic....a thousand times a day he apologizes for not being able to help, for needing assistance, or for just being unable to play and have fun.

Today was our endochronology visit. Keeg has had to come off his Lantis pen because it burns him so terribly bad. There is another long acting insulin pen out, but insurance won't cover the pen. So, we came home with actually syringes and vials of insulin today. First dose is in half an hour. I'm nervous, but don't want him to know. I've never stuck a syringe in anyone before! Thank goodness my friend is here and that she is a CNA and former EMT. I don't know how I'd do it if it were just me!

Keeg's A1C has dropped from 12  (yes, it was 12!!!!) to 8.5. So, we celebrated a bit when we heard that one! Yay!

Keeg watched a friend making a huge breakfast of hashbrowns, biscuits and gravy, sausage, eggs, toast, etc. He ran outside, sat on the steps, busted out crying and yelled, "I hate diabetes". Our friend took him to the grocery store and worked to find a way to feed him a breakfast of thing she liked, while keeping it in his carb limit. It's difficult.

We have found that Quinoa is great for him. He gets to eat what appears to be a large quantity of food, it fills him up, and it's super yummy and good for us!

We are still learning. We still goof up often (like those times we get to busy running errands and don't have food to eat). We discovered that cheesecake is a dessert that he can have, which is good because who doesn't like homemade cheesecake? And contrary to a certain Yankee's opinion (you know who you are), cheesecake with Splenda is AWESOMENESS.

We have weeks lined with specialist appointments, testing, and more. I'm holding onto my faith that God will come through and provide me with the computer jobs I need so that we can make some much needed money. He has always provided before, and I'm sure he will now.

As some of you know, we've been fostering dogs that are pulled from gassing shelters. It's been therapeutic for our family..... seeing abused, neglected, rejected and abandoned dogs. Also, dogs that have such a wide variety of health issues. Their unconditional love, in the midst of their pain at human's hands is an inspiration in itself. It has helped our family to be acutely aware of the pain many suffer, and how we can make a difference. It helps to take the attention from our own pains, health issues, financial problems, and more. Saving dogs lives touches you in a way that nothing else can.

Despite all our family battles now, we are together. We love each other. We are a team.

Nothing else really matters.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Sleep Deprivation, Low Sugar, Migraines and more

It was after 4a.m. before Keeg's sugar started coming back up. I'm exhausted. With my own health issues, sleep is so very important to keep me from flaring. Yet, sleep didn't exist but for a few hours.

Keeg has a migraine today. His sugar is still running in the 80s, even after food. He is also exhausted. Although he slept, it doesn't appear he was rested from it.

I know that in time all this will get easier, but right now it is HARD.

My heart aches for Keeg. He is trying so hard to put on a brave front and smiling face. Yet, he is consumed with one thing only, trying to eat.

I have a thousand wishes, and all of them revolve around my children and I being healthy. That's what I wish we could have.

I'm having a hard time finding the beauty today.