I went in to the doctor this morning for a routine checkup and to get some warts on the soles of my feet removed. But one of them, I wasn't even sure if there was a wart there any more, or just a big callus.
See, one of the things that many autistics do is rub or pick at any irregularities in their skin--scabs, dry skin, calluses, zits, etc. This is a form of stimming and can be anything from no problem at all to really damaging, depending on several factors like how often and intensely you do it, what type of things you're picking at, etc. (If you do it so that it's dangerous--regularly breaking the skin and thus bringing the risk of infection, for example, or preventing wounds from healing--you can sometimes get the same satisfaction out of letting glue or nail polish dry on your skin or nails and then picking at that.) And I've always been one to pick at things, though never to the point it became a problem.
This is relevant because, about a year ago when one of the warts was coming in, there was a flap of skin or something sticking out. And this is on the sole of my foot, it was really bugging me. So I started fiddling with it, and eventually yanked, and this core of stuff came out of my foot leaving what looked like a deep puncture. Well, I disinfected it and bandaged it, and when it was healed up there was still a callus there but I thought that might have been the core of the wart, right there. Sure enough, the doc said I was right--it was nothing but callus left. So I only had to have two warts frozen off, not three. Yay! Less pain!
Also, the doc knew like nothing about autism or how an autistic person might react to stuff in a doctor's office. Like, the fact that we have sensory processing issues was complete news to her. So now she knows, and hopefully will take this into account for her other autistic patients. (At roughly 1 in 70 people being on the spectrum, I guarantee I'm not the only one of her patients who is autistic, whether they--or she--know it or not.)