My Treasure Chest – Part 4: The Sum of Our Parts

Image Description: a small blue and silver chest with a handle and silver press-studs along the edge of the box on both sides. On the main body of the chest is swirling silver designs and silver Asian-style Dragons in flight against a blue-fabric background.
Image Description: a small blue and silver chest with a handle and silver press-studs along the edge of the box on both sides. On the main body of the chest is silver designs and silver Asian-style Dragons in flight against a blue-fabric background.

Unfortunately, I’ve kind of fallen behind with My Treasure Chest series and as I need to get Part 5 written and all the images described, this post will probably come across as rushed, so my apologies in advance for that.
Image Description: a 50 gram packet of assorted coloured acrylic beads with the title,
Image Description: a 50 gram packet of assorted coloured acrylic beads with the title, “Assorted Coloured Beads” up the top of the packet, with red sections at the top and bottom of the package with clear plastic in the middle. There’s illustrations of various coloured pencils at the bottom of the package.
Location: Currently, you can find these at Toyworld (Highpoint Shopping Centre, Footscray) for a AU $1 per packet.
Purpose: Crafting. Primarily, I use these for making beaded lanyards and beaded jewellery, but feel free to use them however you want.

Image Description: There are three packets of chrome coloured key-rings/split-rings, in each packet there are five key-rings/split-rings.
Image Description: There are three packets of chrome coloured key-rings/split-rings, in each packet there are five key-rings/split-rings.
Location: Kim got these for me from Yen Huot Gift Shop (18A Paisley Street, Footscray), I think they’re about AU $0.80 a packet? They have gone up since I’ve been there.
Purpose: Crafting. Primarily, I use these for making beaded lanyards and beaded jewellery, but feel free to use them however you want.

Image Description: a large red balloon sealed inside a transparent-plastic zip-lock bag.
Image Description: a large red balloon sealed inside a transparent-plastic zip-lock bag.
Purpose: This balloon serves as a squishing stim toy. It’s filled with play-dough, Kim managed to get the play-dough in there (somehow?) using a funnel, I think…? It’s very squishable but it’s a firmer squishable texture in comparison to the balloons filled with flour.

Image Description: a small yellow bandanna.
Image Description: a small yellow bandanna
Purpose: To wear on one’s head

Image Description: a package of Baby Solutions Shaped Teether in the shape of a strawberry.
Image Description: a package of Baby Solutions Shaped Teether in the shape of a strawberry
Purpose: This is a chewable baby teether, so it’s main purpose is for being chewed (I suppose). You can obtain these from K-Mart and perhaps certain Coles Supermarkets.

Image Description: a two-wired bead maze set into a round wooden base. The base is painted yellow with an outline of a teddy-bear in orange paint. The two wires are blue and orange; the blue wire goes straight across while the orange wire twirls in two circles. Both wires are strung with red, yellow, blue, orange and green wooden beads.
Image Description: a two-wired bead maze set into a round wooden base. The base is painted yellow with an outline of a teddy-bear in orange paint. The two wires are blue and orange; the blue wire goes straight across while the orange wire twirls in two circles. Both wires are strung with red, yellow, blue, orange and green wooden beads.
Purpose: To entertain. Kim thought my niece would enjoy this, although I must confess, my niece appears to enjoy the squishy caterpillar more (pictured further down).

Image Description: a small squishable grey dolphin with eyeballs pointing in different directions.
Image Description: a small squishable grey dolphin with eyeballs pointing in different directions.
Purpose: Honestly, not entirely sure, I think it’s one of those bath toys you can purchase from K-Mart (they come in little plastic bags). Kim meant it as a joke gift as people have this habit of giving me generic dolphin-themed gifts. Now, I’m not a marine biologist, but I’m fairly certain that a dolphin is not supposed to have eye-balls pointing in different directions, but my niece doesn’t seem to mind.

Image Description: from left to right, two square crimped biscuit cutters, the first one is larger and pink and the second one is smaller and orange.
Image Description: from left to right, two square crimped biscuit cutters, the first one is larger and pink and the second one is smaller and orange.
Purpose: I think Kim intended these as moulds for Kinetic Sand, but the pink one is definitely too big for sand, however, they work well for making shortbread biscuits.

Image Description: a packet of Macron Erasers inside a transparent zip-lock bag.
Image Description: a packet of Macron Erasers inside a transparent zip-lock bag.
Purpose: they are squishable, however, they are also scented, which is why Kim passed them onto me (Kim is awesome at finding adorable stuff, it’s their super power)

Image Description: a white and robin's egg-blue My Little Pony with blue eyes and bright-orange mane and tail.
Image Description: a white and robin’s egg-blue My Little Pony with blue eyes and bright-orange mane and tail
Purpose: Unfortunately, due to a lack there of storage space, Kim had to cull their herd of My Little Ponies and gifted me with this one, this one is currently sitting on my bookcase (near my collection of piggies), reminds me of the first episode of Daria, “Like a herd of wild ponies, running free across the plains.”


Image Description: a mini tsum-tsum of Disney character Piglet, small pink piglet, from the book series and animated cartoon series Winnie-The-Pooh.
Purpose: the mini tsum-tsums are great for on-the-go stim packs, they’re small, soft and fuzzy and can easily fit in a hand-bag or messenger-bag. If you’re interested in more information on Disney Tsum-Tsums, Kim has a tag dedicated to these plushies.


Image Description: a rainbow coloured (purple, blue, red, pink, green) squishable caterpillar
Purpose: To squish (obviously), however, this item has a strong plastic-y smell, so Kim offered it to me. It has the same texture and feel as a critter-puff, here’s a link with more information on how to obtain one.

Image Description: a small green plastic car with red plastic wheels and a white tag attached to the car with text displayed Tough Toys - Mini.
Image Description: a small green plastic car with red plastic wheels and a white tag attached to the car with text displayed “Tough Toys – Mini”.
Purpose: These are are a good texture stim, the wheels feel good across my skin and it feels good across certain surfaces. More information provided here.


Image Description: a transparent glass jam-jar filled with white slimy liquid, it kind of looks like there’s small grains of rice combined with the white liquid.
Purpose: I suspect this was a slime experiment conducted to gain knowledge for Kim’s Great Slime Quest, I think it’s Toothpaste Slime? I’m not entirely sure.

Image Description: a heart-shaped glitter-studded clear plastic popper made of thick pink plastic.
Image Description: a heart-shaped glitter-studded clear plastic popper made of thick pink plastic.
Purpose: These are supposedly large poppers, but they don’t work very well (at all in fact), however, I tend to use this to hold beads for when I’m making beaded lanyards or other beaded jewellery, it can hold a substantial amount. Here’s a link for more information on Stimtastic poppers.

Image Description: a packet of thin rubber/silicone bracelets in multiple colours.
Image Description: a packet of thin rubber/silicone bracelets in multiple colours.
Purpose: Pressure stimming, which is actually a big thing for me (mental note: look into DIY binders), however, these bracelets tend to be a loose on my wrists. I’m fairly certain you can obtain these items from K-Mart. It’s good for me to have a collection of loose and tight telephone-cord hair-ties and bracelets, this is because I often have RSI due to my day-job and I don’t think it’s recommended to have tight objects around my wrists when they’re sore.

Image Description: a transparent-zip-lock-bag with four multi-coloured bouncy balls, two red mini-prickle-balls and a pink dinosaur-prickle-ball.
Image Description: a transparent-zip-lock-bag with four multi-coloured bouncy balls, two red mini-prickle-balls and a pink dinosaur-prickle-ball.
Purpose: Fidgeting stims, I cackle everything I bring out my ever increasing collection of bouncy balls (I keep my large Kids & Co rainbow-string bouncy ball in my on the go stim-toy-bag), the reason for such a large collection is because I’m easily prone to losing things and these are cheap and easy items to replace, although I do try to avoid losing my hoard of bouncy balls (I should probably try keeping them in a separate glass jar).


Image Description: a small number puzzle with a pink background and border.
Purpose: Fidget stimming, this type of number puzzle can easily be found in the toy section/puzzle section/board-game section in the K-Mart and Target toy departments

Image Description: a transparent plastic container used for holding business cards (or at least I think that's what it is).
Image Description: a transparent plastic container used for holding business cards (or at least I think that’s what it is).
Purpose: To print out and hold business cards presumably, also so I can say “It’s Business Time!” (while wearing business socks) whenever I feel like it.



Image Description: From left to right, a hedgehog sponge from Daiso with dark-pink fuzzy/nubbly chenille material in place of quills, the pink hedgehog-sponge is named Poppy. Next to Poppy, there is another a hedgehog sponge from Daiso with neon-yellow fuzzy/nubbly chenille material in place of quills, the yellow hedgehog-sponge is named Daisy.
Purpose: These hedgehog plushies make great weighted-lap-pads (even though they are on the small side), these ones are also scented with lavender essential oil so they’re stimmy to touch and smell. I really enjoy gathering them around me in bed when I type in bed all snuggled up and warm under the covers.

And yeah, I know, Daisy flowers are white not yellow, so technically I should have named Daisy something else, like Sunny (short for sunflower) or some other yellow flower, but Daisy stuck for some reason and I was absolutely determined that my hedgehogs should have matching/connected names, so now I own a collected of weighted-plushies with ultra-feminine names. It’s not a bad thing per say, it’s more that this is a situation I did not envision. In fact, it’s only recently that I’ve noticed the fact that Poppy has legs, but Daisy doesn’t have legs (something I felt a bit guilty about).

There are more items in this particular collection, but this post is already super long and I’ve decided to write a separate post focusing on the beaded items as a Arts & Crafts post, honestly I’ll be super surprised if anyone actually manages to get to the bottom of this post. I’ve trying to write this post for days and brain has not been the most helpful in this regard (I know it shows).

So, just in case this isn’t obvious (because sometimes I get caught up in the excitement of discovering new stim toys), I just wanted to iterate how grateful I am for all of this, but also how I’m supremely grateful for having someone like Kim in my life. Thank you Kim, thank so much and I’m sorry if my gratitude doesn’t show clearly enough.

The Dysfunction Junction: Is There A Specialist In The House?

Image Description: a large cluster of smiley faces in the centre of the picture. In the background are multicoloured words against a black background like breath, here and now, accept, track, sense repeatedly printed in the background over and over again.
Image Description: a large cluster of smiley faces in the centre of the picture. In the background are multicoloured words against a black background like breath, here and now, accept, track, sense repeatedly printed in the background over and over again.

Since the end of October 2016, I have been trying and failing to find a specialist doctor qualified to assess people on whether they have ADHD (or possibly something else). One of the unfortunate side effects of Mental Health services is that financial status is often the deciding factor in accessibility.

The only reason I can afford to have therapy sessions for my increasingly unstable anxiety and my pursuit of an ADHD diagnosis is because I have a partner who is willing to support me, he earns a decent wage and we have some savings set aside.

It’s funny just how big a factor money really is in gaining the mental health support services one may require, and by funny, I mean fucking awful. The sheer cost factor was one of the many reasons why I hesitated to pursue an ADHD in the first place, that and, because of my past bad experiences with bad/incompetent doctors, trust is a big factor.

How do I know this person is qualified? What’s their range of experience? Do they have experience with Adult diagnosis? Do they have experience diagnosing Adult Women? And the most terrifying question of all: What if I don’t have ADHD? What if I’ve just been slightly dysfunctional the whole time, and I’ve just been wasting all this time and money for nothing?

Whenever I was given a referral letter to a specialist, I made the effort to google search and attempt to find as much information about these “specialists” as possible. Unfortunately, the clear majority of specialists regarding ADHD are male doctors. I regard this as a bad sign, especially considering the shitty attitude some people and the medical industry have towards Neurodiversity and people who aren’t white cis-boys.

It was why I was so happy when my local GP found a female doctor in Ballarat who stated she was qualified for Adult diagnosis for ADHD and Autism, unfortunately one of the downsides was I would be waiting a minimum of two months before I could see her.

Another downside is that each hourly session was $400, however, I did some research on her, found positive comments, noticed she had a minimal internet presence (a website with a photo and brief bio) and I booked an appointment, expecting the worst but hoping for the best.

I had previously tried to contact a male specialist and due to the rudeness of the receptionist, I never bothered to book an appointment, I figured if you’re that rude to a paying customer, clearly that specialist doesn’t need my money (sad part is that it’s probably true).

But when I contacted Ballarat Psychiatry Group, the receptionist was super nice and very helpful with my inquiries. If you work in the mental health industry, don’t be an arsehole to people over the phone, the people calling up clearly have enough problems to deal with, I can’t stress this enough.

And then the waiting began…

In the almost three months prior to my appointment, I figured it would beneficial to do as much research as possible, print out things to give to the specialist in a bid to minimise the wastage of time. To maintain a vague illusion of organisation, I purchased a specifically set aside compendium-folder (bright pink of course) so that I could keep all my “Mental Health Stuff” all in the one place.

In my view, I had only an hour to distil twenty-eight-years’ worth of dysfunction, I did not have high hopes for this, especially since in therapy sessions I tend to go off on unrelated side notes and forget what I was even talking about in the first place. To try and combat this, I made sure to take lined paper and pens with me, so that I could take notes or make dot-points before the session.

When I went into the doctor’s office for my appointment, she began with the usual scripted dialogue people with when meeting for the first time:
“Hi, how are you?”

I responded with “Fine” automatically, because that is what we are taught to say, we are taught to say we are fine even when we are not (especially when we are not), “fine” is the only socially acceptable answer. Then I reminded myself that I wasn’t paying $400 an hour to be “fine”.

I corrected myself, “Well no, I’m not fine, I wouldn’t be here if I were. I’m inquiring into an Adult Diagnosis of ADHD, I’ve done all this research,” I handed over a bright pink A4 sized document-wallet filled with documents. “And I thought we could start there.”

The fact that she discarded the document-wallet pretty much as soon as I gave it to her was a bad sign to me, however, it was the expression of bored disdain that irritated me (and continues to irritate me whenever I think about it, yes, I’ll admit it, I’m at times terribly petty).

It turns out she’s not qualified at all to assess people on whether they have ADHD (even though it says so on multiple internet resources). Apparently, she primarily dealt with patients who came to her looking for help with ADHD, but it turns out they don’t have ADHD, they just have Anxiety or Depression. Personally, I feel that’s a weird kind of specialisation to have, I mean, what would she do if she came across a person who had Depression and Anxiety but also had ADHD as well?

Anyway, I was offered two choices, choice A was she could email a referral letter to my local GP doctor, and then I would have to book an appointment with my local GP and obtain the referral letter via my GP (the Ballarat doctor couldn’t just print out a referral letter then and there and give to me). Choice B was that I continue with the appointment and she would attempt a paper-form of assessment over multiple sessions and then refer me onto a specialist.

My thought process was that a person who isn’t qualified to assess me is going to ask me questions (if she’s not qualified, how can I trust that she’ll ask the right questions?), over multiple sessions (3 x $400 = $1200) and even at the end of that, I still wouldn’t have a definitive answer because at the end, she’d still have to refer me to a specialist.

So that would be at least three appointments with her and an appointment with an actual qualified specialist (for the sake of argument, let’s assume the qualified specialist charges at the same rate), so that’s $1600 worth of appointments with no guaranteed answers. I’ll admit my first knee-jerk reaction was “shove that up your arse” but somehow, I managed to contain my frustration and annoyance at having my time wasted, although I’m sure my emotional state was probably obvious.

I chose to cancel the appointment and deal with the ADHD specialists directly (or as directly as I could).

I was ranting to my councillor about this and she gave me the suggestion of contacting the RMIT Psychology Clinic and encouraged me to inquire if they had the ability to perform an Adult ADHD assessment.

My councillor informed me that the doctor seeing me would be a graduate doctor (with a senior doctor to supervise) which was why the session would be cheaper. So, I decided to check this out first, and keep the ADHD specialist referral letters for later, in case the RMIT thing doesn’t work out.

Unfortunately, and perhaps this is only me, but I found the website confusing and vague so I’ll try to add more information.

Without a concession card, the doctor session will cost AU $30 and the Assessment Report will cost AU $100 (plus the cost of petrol and possibly parking, IDK, the place is located in Bundoora), however, I want to point out that if you have a concession card, fees and such will be cheaper for you, I can’t say specifically because it will depend on what you’re pursuing the clinic for (the website does have some information about fees, I just didn’t find it clear enough for me).

You will need a referral letter from a GP to gain access to the service. My GP didn’t know about this service (Latrobe University also has a psychology clinic as well in case that university is closer) and, as a result, the RMIT Psychology Clinic has been added to the database my local medical centre maintains for services like these, so hopefully this will help other people too.

When I contacted them, it did involve a bit of fluffing about (a short time on hold while they found the right department/right doctor to speak to, standard university stuff really), but my assigned doctor got back to me within an acceptable time frame and I’ve only had to wait a couple of weeks before I could get an appointment.

Like with all good deals that seem too good to be true, there is a catch, one of the conditions of gaining access to a cheaper assessment is that my appointment will be recorded for training purposes. Apparently, according to the doctor I’ll be seeing for my appointment, a lot of people don’t engage with the service because of this, which is why I’ve made sure to mention it directly.

I’ll be going for my appointment with the RMIT Psychology Clinic next Wednesday and my thought process on this is that perhaps it’s a good thing a recording of my appointment will exist, hopefully it can be used as evidence to help support other people like myself.

Although I don’t have high hopes at this point, I must test out my options, even if this is simply a process of elimination. I’ll ask if I can receive a copy of the recording. I should be able to under the Freedom of Information act.

Speaking off obtaining information, I’ve also been investigating into getting a copy of my records from my forced attendance at Orygen Youth Health, now I wasn’t forced to go there because of a court mandate.

The doctors involved with Orygen Youth Health just repeatedly told me I had to go to appointments and I couldn’t leave the program until I was a legal adult. As an adult, this comes across as “that might not be technically illegal, but definitely sounds unethical” category.

Making a traumatised teenager feel as though they have no choice but to attend therapy sessions with a doctor who won’t listen and keeping said traumatised teenager ignorant of their medical rights belongs in the “Dodgy as Fuck” category.

But then again, the Orygen Youth Service was free for me to access because my mother and I had concession cards, so maybe this is more of a “you get what you pay for” type of situation (not that it makes what they did okay).

I began investigating my Orygen Youth Service medical records back in December and still haven’t received my records, but my thought process was that “What the hell was that Doctor thinking?” and then I needed to know the exact answer to that question, or at least the closest approximation I’ll be able to obtain.

I also thought as I’m not doing my assessment through the education system (not by choice I may add) it may be beneficial to obtain “official” medical documents and see if they can help my cause. Although, I have strong doubts about this.

If you’re in a position where you’re able to pursue a diagnosis for a Neurodiversity condition through the educated system, I encourage you to do this, Doctors are like University Admins, they require an almost bureaucratic level of paper-work to justify you getting an appointment.

I just wanted to add thanks if you managed to get this far through the post, I know it’s absurdly long, especially since it’s a super long post about how not much progress has been made, hopefully next Wednesday will put me in better position and I’ll know where to go from there.