Caoimh Connolly

Caoimh Connolly
My Medical Experience

Caoimhe Connolly has provided another blog about his experiences accessing medical services. You can read his previous blogs here.

Hi friends,

I hope you are keeping well.

Some of you might have read this article in the Irish Times. It was written by my mother. Today I am going to add my version of these experiences. I have a diagnosis of autism. I have had this diagnosis since I was two. I have spent the last nineteen years getting services targeted at people with this diagnosis.

Yet these services are not fit for purpose. The buildings are old, decrepit mazes that are a nightmare for us. Most of the professionals I have encountered do not understand me. Most of them had no idea why I don’t talk. They also assume I have low intelligence. Often they speak to me as though I were a toddler. I am left to wait, which is the hardest for me because my body gets agitated, and then my anxiety kicks in. Eventually, when I get in the room I am met with impatience. The whole thing is an awful experience every time. I want so badly to be able to get routine examinations and procedures done without fuss. But this is simply not as easy for me without adaptations, understanding and support.

Recently, I was diagnosed with BBS (Bardet Biedl Syndrome). It affects so many of my organs. Because I had an autism diagnosis this was not investigated and discovered through genetic blood testing until my parents insisted on it. What could have been different had I been able to successfully visit medical appointments much sooner?

Your friend under the stars,