I talk a lot about my chronic illnesses and disabilities because I think it’s important and it’s a part of my life as much as rude customers and getting cut off on the freeway is.
But one of the many inconveniences I don’t always talk about is sensory sensitivities. It doesn’t happen often, but there are days when my anxiety is all ready at it’s peak, every chair in my office is taken and every person is talking at the top of their lungs and I have to run out of the office behind the building and sit in the silence for a little while.
It’s the overwhelming, well, overwhelming feeling of being overwhelmed. This can sometimes be an indication of an oncoming migraine and I have to be aware of that as well. This is sensory overload, which is different than the types of sensory issues I’m going to talk about in the next few paragraphs.
“Oh Jess how do you live?!” Well thank you for your concern dear reader, but it isn’t enough to affect my life too dramatically. I realize now that my lifelong irritation of bubble chewers and finger tappers has all been different types of anxieties all just wrapped up in sensory issues. I’ve learned to control most of the physical reactions I have to those things, but sometimes I do get a sick look on my face.
Yes, sometimes those sounds and noise in general can make me feel sick.
The same goes for light and thats very rare; sound isn’t so rare because I’m very gently hard of hearing in one ear (along with again a very gentle case of tinnitus) which kinda messes with how I hear certain things. But light tends to come along with migraines that are centered in my eyes or my nasal passages. Those are the most common types of migraines and why most people assume I live most of my life in a dark room.
But the truth of the matter is I don’t tend to deal with too much light sensitivity, when I do however it tends to feel like even the reflections on the floor are like staring directly in to the sun. But I can’t wear things on my head like hats or hoods or masks because my head is so sensitive it only makes the migraine worse. So my only choice is to make the room as absolutely dark as I possibly can and lay in bed with my covers up to my chin so that if any light manages to get in I can quickly Dracula away.
I also am not very physical because I don’t tend to like the feel of body contact, this includes hands shaking and hugging. Sometimes depending on the pain level of the migraine this can also cause full body physical pain as well making these kinds of interactions very difficult, so as it were I just tend to avoid it the best that I can.
I also smell things that aren’t there and smells are a large trigger for my migraines so you see I’m fighting a war on all fronts.