I woke up rather ill this morning and it made me think of this post, one of my most read, originally ran on May 13, 2010:
I don't know how to start this entry as this statement may seem odd. For some people these experiences might be very difficult, but for me I look forward to them. These experiences would be the best in the world, if not for the headaches, body aches, and the sore throat. Those side effects aside, a fever is a welcomed event.
Why is something that is so harsh on a body a welcomed event? I think I can say that the only time I relax is during a fever. It's a very bizarre sensation as my mind's habit of overly thinking about everything slows down.
Things seem to make more sense when I have a fever. Perhaps this is because my body's energy is elsewhere and my mental focus isn't dwelling on anything.
When I was in school a fever was like winning the lottery as it meant I would not be going to school. Could this be why I feel better, now, with a fever? Much like a certain aroma may remind you of your grandmother's house, a fever reminds me of the freedom of not dealing with school for a day.
I'm not so sure this is simply based on the memories of avoiding school. There is certainly a change in the way I process information during a fever. I know I smile more often and my rigidness to any and all things decreases. It's a shame that the side effects come along with the fever!
So, I do have a question of you whether you are or aren't on the spectrum; What is a fever like for you? I know I had a friend, not on the spectrum, that got really mean and almost aggressive when he had a fever. I was always confused by this because I associate a fever with relaxation.
Finally, I should say when I say fever I am talking about the 99.5-101 range. Anything above 101 has been truly unpleasant and it speeds up my mind to an unwanted level. When I had my bout with MRSA and my fever was 105 I could not slow my mind down. The unfiltered emotions I felt were to an almost unbearable level and this was weird because my strength in my body was non-existent.
So, again, does a fever change the way your mind processes information, or am I the only one who has this seemingly odd characteristic?
PS, I have known this about myself for a long time, and first talked about it openly in 2005. I never thought anything of it, but after writing this I did a Google search of "fever" and "autism" and many media outlets (webmd, Time, ABC News) all have had stories such as, "Fever may improve behavior in kids with autism".