My Special Interest

Hello my Zebra and Spoonies! Thanks for coming and hanging out with me today. I’m glad that you are here. Today I want to talk about my Obsessive or Special Interest. This is something that is considered a common trait for people with autism and I didn’t talk about it when I posted about autism, so I decided that I would make an additional post for the “My Diagnosis” series so that I could talk about it.

When I found out that I was autistic, I was a bit puzzled and initially didn’t feel that the diagnosis fit. But after I did a lot of research on how autism typically presents in adult females, I changed my mind. I agreed with the neuropsychologist that this a correct diagnosis. But I didn’t at first think that I had a special interest. This is something that is very common with autistic people but not a required piece for the diagnosis. So, at first I dismissed it. Then I stumbled upon a comment or post on face book that got me thinking about it all over again. The person had been asking how many people in the group had used their special interest to determine or shape their work.

Then I realized that medicine was my special interest. I have been curious about the human body and wanted to understand how it works for as long as I can recall. I read everything I can about every illness I can. I find it all very fascinating. Even when I am the patient. I can’t help but go into analytical mode and consider it with my nurse brain. At first I brushed this off and said that it just being a nurse. Then I started to pay attention to how other nurses spend their time. Most don’t read research articles at home as a past time. Most don’t accumulate over 200 hours of continuing education every year. Most of the time, if I’m reading or watching something it is somehow related to medicine.

This made so much of my career make more sense. I frequently get frustrated with the lack of drive that other nurses have for educating themselves. How can they not want to know everything there is to know about medicine? Why does it matter if it isn’t related to the nursing discipline that your work in? I’ve always looked up every new drug that I’ve encountered. Even if it wasn’t a drug I was giving. Just because I wanted to know about it. Knowing it exists is enough to want to know more. I’ve always looked up every medical term that I don’t know. If it turns out to be a diagnosis then I end up falling into a rabbit hole trying to learn everything I can about it. And this is not something that is considered a good use of your time. Especially when it’s a diagnosis for someone else’s patient.

There are other things that I have a strong interest in that might be considered a special interest, but nothing comes close to the way I feel about medical knowledge. If I’m watching a movie with you and a character mentions having a disorder I’ve never heard of I will stop watching to go research that disorder. Sorry, I can’t pay attention to the movie after that. I will just keep wondering what that disorder is all about. What are the symptoms? How is it treated? What are the risk factors?

What are some of my special interest runner ups?

Alien.
The 1979 movie and everything that’s related to it. I’ve read the books, watched all the movies, played the board games, experienced the video games, read the comics and explored the creative processes behind the film. I love all of it.

Hellraiser.
The novella The Hellbound Heart and everything related to it. I’ve watched all the movies, read the books, played the games, read the comics and explored the creative processes behind the film. I love all of it.

Blue October
There is no other music to have captured my attention and love like this band’s music. I can and have listened to them on repeat continuously until my husband asks to listen to something else. I could go the rest of my life with just this music and be content.

And it wasn’t until I was diagnosed and started exploring the neurodivergent community that I realized that this wasn’t something that everyone had. It apparently isn’t a thing to completely fall in love with the xenomorph and want to know everything about them in whatever format they want to tell the story. I find it strange to imagine a world that didn’t have such familiar characters and stories in it. Why wouldn’t you want to watch an anime series over again? And again? I’ve done this with Seven Deadly Sins and it has become a familiar place that I can easily slide into when I need to distract myself from the weird shit in the real world. It is comfortable in its predictability.

But I think that medicine is really the one clear special interest for me. It doesn’t matter how tired my brain or how many hours I’ve worked, I always want to read about the new cool research that they just finished. I always can sit and listen to medical lectures for hours while I putter at my crafting. I’m happy to go to sleep listening to medical pod casts. There is no other topic that can eclipse this one. And if I have learned some new bit of medical knowledge, you better believe that I want to share that cool discovery with the people that matter the most to me. I hold it up for them, declaring “See the shiny!”

So, yeah. I figure that I have a special interest after all.

Thanks for coming and listening to me prattle for a while. Until we hang out again, you take care of yourselves. Bye!

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