Life with Sensory Processing Disorder

Friday, December 12, 2014

Product Review - MeMoves

I first heard about MeMoves via a fellow SPDer a few weeks ago. I am always curious and open to trying just about anything to help my SPD, so I visited the website Thinking Moves. While investigating MeMoves, I noticed and wondered about LifeMoves – which is geared towards adults. So I sent a message via the contact us online form inquiring what were the differences between the two?, was one more difficult?, etc. I never heard back, which was very disappointing since I wanted to know which might be better for me/SPD. After some time I decided to go ahead and order MeMoves since it has the most online reviews (nearly all positive) and per the website the DVD is slightly longer with textured cards & a CD (all arriving in an oversized DVD case) and is $10 cheaper @ $59.95. I ordered on a Sunday and received the set in a padded envelope mailer 4 days later on a Thursday via Media Mail (luckily I live in the same state as said company, Media Mail usually is very slow and can take weeks for receipt in my experience. I also noticed they overcharged for shipping by $4). Upon receipt I read all included material and set out to try the DVD. The enclosed paperwork states, "MeMoves uses a patented self regulation system designed to decrease stress and increase function. The core of the system is a multisensory interactive DVD that combines rhythm, music, patterns, and movement in a way that fully engages the user to balance their nervous system."


There are three sections on the DVD: Joy, Calm, and Focus, each with 4 or 5 segments of a few minutes. You can select & do as many as you wish, but they only play one at a time, you cannot program sequences or segments together (now that would have been cool and a better product in my opinion). I started with Joy, did one or two, then did 2 of Calm, and one of Focus. I enjoyed the music, thought the clicking would bother me, but it did not, and I liked the way it felt doing the routines. The routines consist of arm movements: up and down, Xs, squares, circles, half circle, infinity/figure 8s, Ls, etc. Each arm not always performing the same movement as the other. There are people of various ethnicities, sex, & ages in nondescript clothing doing the movements, usually smiling. There was one young boy who in two of the sections I tried moved ahead of the music/beat/clicks which was kind of cute, but I imagine after time it could be rather annoying. Another seated elderly woman was counting: 1..2..3..4 though was muted by the music. Since I can’t help but notice everything, I couldn’t not read her lips and found this to be very distracting. Luckily each person is only on screen for less than a minute. Afterwards my arms felt warm and I felt blood circulating.


The flow felt very much like Qi Gong to me = warm, soothing, calming, centering, healing. In the included MeMoves paperwork it does mention it is a moving meditation and it does feel as such. I think anyone who does MeMoves and likes it should check out Qi Gong, which is similar, but some practices in my opinion are better and more suited for adults. Per the below mentioned website, "Qi Gong switches the nervous system from the stress-related ‘fight or flight’ mode to the restorative healing mode of the parasympathetic branch. EEG shows that, in people practicing Qi Gong, the cerebral cortex enters a state of calm that few people experience, even in sleep." My favorite DVD practice is Lee Holden’s Qi Gong for Stress. It has relaxing music, nature sounds, stunning nature scenery with calming colors, and is slow and meditative. It also contains breath work or syncing your breath to the movement, similar to Vinyasa Flow Yoga, which MeMoves does not do. Holistic doctors believe SPD can be caused or worsened by blocked Qi (aka Chi = energy), so it makes sense that MeMoves helps as it is similar in a juvenile way.



This morning I visited the included MeMoves textured pattern cards. I loved the freedom of these – to do with or without music, to travel with me anywhere I go, to fit in my purse, the feel of the heavy, cool rubbery texture cards was calming and positive. I like that they instruct you to change it up and to try other patterns, change direction, cross hands to keep it challenging. I then proceed to do more of the DVD, which was once again enjoyable.



In the included booklet it is recommended you do Memoves 2-3 times a day. With the segments being so short, I can see easily fitting this in happily at my computer, TV, or thanks to the cards, anywhere I go. While I have enjoyed each of the sections, I really like the focus ones best – I always love to challenge my brain. I’d love to see them do a set that is pure focus and advanced for adults. I would buy it in a heartbeat! My husband has seen a bit of MeMoves and will be doing it with me some of the time. My mom also said she will try it out, as she suffers some sensory issues herself. I will revisit my review in a few months after using it daily to let you know my thoughts and to possibly review LifeMoves should I try it. I would absolutely recommend MeMoves to anyone with SPD a/o ASD looking for a calming tool. I think it is appropriate for all ages, though especially children.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday Online Deals

I am hoping everyone had a pleasant holiday. I did, I stayed in with my husband and dogs, cooked a big dinner, and watched holiday movies.
As if you didn't know, today is Black Friday. One year I dared to venture out for a few deals, and well, let's just say never again! I found a few good deals online and will be shopping from home today through Cyber Monday.
I wanted to share that the Rainbow OPTX sale is now up! They have new frames available and their discount through Monday using code BLACKFRIDAY40 is 40% off!! I just splurged and bought a few black frames in my favorites, green & purple, and the only other color I don't have, magenta. I love the ones I already have and continue to use them for SPD.

If anyone is a coffee/tea/hot cocoa/lemonade drinker and has a Keurig, their discount is 20% off & FREE S&H using code BLACKFRIDAY. They do have available online one of the hard to find seasonal flavors Spicy Eggnog and other seasonal items; Caramel Apple Cider & Café Pumpkin Spice. 
Total Fitness DVDs is also having a sale, no code needed, just click on list of all sale items on their front page to view items.
Classical Stretch, which is a combination of yoga, dance, tai chi, stretching - also good for relieving stress, anxiety, and pain associated with SPD, is having a sale of 20% off all DVDs until 12/12! Just visit their online store to receive discount. Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Color Therapy Glasses


I've purchased a full set of 8 color therapy glasses from Rainbow OPTX and am loving these! They truly do affect your sensory responses, mood, energy! I will post more about them and a full review soon - I need more time to try each in different settings. I've had them for a week now and am using multiple colors daily. My husband is also trying them out for different reasons - headaches, seizure prevention, and SAD (seasonal affective disorder).



I had expected the blue to be the most used for my SPD - having read others wear blue tinted glasses to filter artificial light, to calm, to correct visual stress, etc. But I've found for me the green and the purple/indigo work best for calming my senses. And so far the yellow is fantastic for SAD (seasonal affective disorder) & cloudy days.




The full set is on sale for $29.88 off and once on their site they give a coupon code for 20% off for new customers, which equals an additional $25.99 off the set! Noel from Rainbow OPTX let me know there will be a *holiday sale in early December*, so if interested in purchasing, that would be a good time!
You can purchase the entire set or each color individually.


This was my first purchase and I am very happy with their customer service, shipping time, and product. I only recently discovered Rainbow OPTX while researching Chromotherapy. I don't mean to sound like a commercial, but I am very excited that these seem to help my moderate to severe SPD!!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Book Review


I finished reading Been There Done That Try This two nights ago. Overall I did not care for it. I’ve been living for 40 years with ASD & SPD and I have read everything I can get my hands on about SPD & ASD and this information was just nothing new and nothing helpful for me. As soon as I got the book I excitedly went straight to the sensory section and read the entire chapter. Then I cried. I am always so hopeful I will find something new that will help me and diminish my symptoms, lessen my pain. But I only found common sense advice like avoid what bothers you, use ear plugs (I can’t – they hurt my ears & give me infections), wear sunglasses (I can’t - hurt me after more than 10 minutes and make me sweat under my eyes, give me a headache), do & eat the things you enjoy (well, duh).


So I went on to read the entire book. This is probably best for someone very young who has just discovered they have ASD a/o SPD, and do not know much about ASD and how to deal with sensory and other issues or someone who wants to read how others are affected by ASD. It might be a good read for parents who wish to learn more about what their child is going through or spouses of those with ASD.


I went back and read the sensory chapter four different times over the past month just to see if maybe I missed something, maybe a bad day was coloring my thoughts. Unfortunately not the case. Very disappointing.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Henna



Today I am coloring my hair. Since SPD affects me greatly and I have allergic reactions and hives to most chemical products, I use pure Henna to color my hair. My hair is naturally a medium brunette with some greys, maybe 5% or less - but enough to be annoying and it doesn't look good on me. Henna gives my hair a slight burgundy tint and tons of shine. The first time I did it, it looked slightly orange until it oxidized, but I’ve been doing it for so many years now that it really doesn’t do much other than shine and thankfully cover greys.


If you are interested in using Henna, make sure you purchase body art quality Henna from the Middle East, as high quality as you can afford with no pesticides used and a lab guarantee on dye content. Many box mixes include carcinogens, coal tar, and other things that could make your hair turn green. There are many Henna suppliers online, so shop around and read reviews. I buy in bulk a year’s supply and freeze it to keep fresh. Because my hair is rarely longer than a few inches past my shoulders and I only use half a bag or less per time, it breaks down to about $6 every 2 months to Henna my hair - which is cheaper than most at home hair dye kits, and much less than having a professional dye your hair.


I often hear, “I didn’t know you could color your hair that way”. Yep, it is a very natural process. You take crushed Henna leaves, mix with water and an acid (eg: orange juice, ACV, pomegranate juice) to a yogurt consistency, let sit for 24 hours to let the acid break down the leaves and release dye, then apply just as you would any at home hair color. The longer you keep it on your hair, the darker the color. I usually let it sit on my hair for about 2-3 hours. I have slept a full 8 hours in it and have let it sit for only one hour once. For my hair type, 3 hours seems a good time for perfect coverage. It takes 24-48 hours to oxidize after rinsing out and once set, that will be your color. The Henna penetrates the keratin, unlike chemical hair dyes which only coat the hair strand. So with Henna, it will not fade, change color in the sun, wash out. It is permanent and thickens each hair strand. Indians use it as a cure for thinning hair & baldness. It also greatly conditions the hair and leaves it very shiny.


You can add natural indigo to your mix to achieve a darker, black, or blue tint to your color. You can add pure grape powder to achieve a purple tint. There are many natural ways to color your hair and change the tint.


Most of my life I have cut my own hair, but the first 2 times I went short (for a layered bob and then a pixie) I had a professional do it until I learned how to do it myself. Last week I chopped off at least 8 inches of my hair and am back to a pixie – my first time doing it 100% by myself, no professional to cut the original style. I think I did a good job. At first I thought I shouldn’t go so short with winter upon us, but it feels so good, free, easy to care for, I am happy I did. I’ll just have to get a new hat for colder weather!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Pinterest



If you are on Pinterest, please be sure to follow my Sensory Processing Disorder Pinterest Board. I regularly pin SPD articles, blogs, products, studies, books, OT activities, supplements, etc. there (including the above t-shirt!).

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Aha Moment



I’ve been spending a lot of time lately doing bead work. Christmas is coming and I need some extra money, so I’m ramping up my productivity to see if I can sell some things online before the holidays. I had the most profound aha moment the other day.


I was going to create a specific piece (have a list of things I want to make eg; bracelet, ring, necklace) – usually I pick up a bead and just know what to do with it, what goes with it, I have an immediate vision, and go with the flow – I swear sometimes I feel possessed, my husband says it is my creative talent – and this item was no exception. I had no plan to work with this particular cabochon, but I saw it, picked it up, and just started working with it, in an unexpected way. Anyway I found myself stuck at one point. It needed more work… yet I didn’t like it… I wasn’t sure how to proceed. I thought I had it right, but something odd happened. I flipped it on its side and wow – off again, new vision and it worked out well, better than expected. I never thought to use it on its side. It made me think how many times do I get stumped in life and *if only I would look at things from a different angle, I might approach things differently* -must remember when feeling stuck or when SPD is getting me down! Anyway, working on final edging of my piece, will post it in the near future.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Magnesium - Part II


The combination of drinking Calm (easily digestible magnesium supplement) and Qi Gong, has been doing wonders for me - I've been drinking Calm twice a day for about a month now. I keep waiting for the effects of Calm to stop working, but it has helped many issues so far. My husband has said for him drinking Calm has helped him sleep, stopped his restless leg syndrome, makes headaches go away, and we have read it can help prevent seizures (he has Epilepsy). For me it has done some things I never expected. For instance I have suffered on and off for years with Plantar Fasciitis - I do stretching for it daily, use massagers, get foot massages, take Ibuprophen, wear shoe insert supports, etc. and it never completely goes away and has actually got worse over the years. After taking Calm for a few days my foot pain went away completely. I remember waking up and getting out of bed and feeling like dancing since my feet felt so good and pain-free! I do get sleepy within 1/2 hour of drinking Calm, it has made headaches go away, helps me feel good and I seem to have more energy (but that could be a combo of it & the Qi Gong I've been doing), eliminated acid reflux, regulated bathroom issues from probiotic I take, lessened PMS/PMDD, and helps regulate my blood sugar. My knees have been hurting me for the past few years and I had to use the railing to go downstairs and sometimes would walk diagonal on our narrow stairs - just felt like my bad knee (hurt years ago in car accident, never had surgery I was supposed to) would go out. Since drinking Calm twice daily my knees haven't been hurting at all and I've been able to walk up & down the stairs daily normally without the rail and go straight up and down.


My husband and I have both said it is a miracle drink and can't believe all the things is has helped - I was very skeptical and still keep waiting for it to stop working/my body to adapt. I don't mean to sound like a commercial for Calm, but I am so happy with all that it has helped and enjoy drinking it more than coffee or tea. If you do a search on magnesium, it is required by the body for over 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. Magnesium is included in saline drips at hospitals, is used to treat many ailments, and the majority of US citizens are deficient. If I recall correctly, the RDA for a man is approx. 400-450mg and 320-360mg for a woman. *Consult your doctor for more info, dosing, side effects, interactions


We have since purchased a larger container twice the size of the first and will continue to take it. Another (cheaper) source of magnesium, though also used as a laxative so use much lesser amounts, is Epsom Salts (magnesium sulfate), which you drink mixed with water a/o juice or you can bathe in it and your body will absorb it. You can also find magnesium in spinach, nuts, and beans naturally. There are also magnesium supplements available in pill & oil form. I've read you can apply the oil to the bottoms of your feet or anywhere on your body for absorption. I may try this also.


You can find Calm at iherb.com and use coupon code MOD625 to get $5 off your first purchase, or $10 off your first purchase over $40!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Movie Review


Perfume - The Story of a Murderer

*Warning - spoilers ahead...


I’ve wanted to see this movie for years, ever since reading about it and the main character having extreme olfactory sense. With my sense of smell being the most hypersensitive of my senses and of anyone I’ve ever known or read about, I am drawn to books & movies exploring this topic even if works of fiction. I noticed it was OOP (out of print) and I knew I could rent it via Amazon, but I really wanted a copy after viewing the trailer - I knew I would like it, I collect strange OOP movies, and don’t like to watch movies on my computer. I searched all of our local 2nd hand shops for a copy of the DVD for years, with no luck. It is available online used for $69+, but I wasn’t willing to pay that much for it. Unfortunately it is not out on Blu-ray -seemed like it would look amazing due to the trailer/cinematography. I read many of the reviews without spoilers and noticed several arguments whether or not the main character had Autism/Asperger’s/ASD, so it sparked my interest even more. I’ve seen some call it a masterpiece, wonderful, the most underrated movie, brilliant, etc. I’ve also seen other reviews saying it was horrible, disgusting, twisted, dark, etc. Usually if a movie has a very distinct love/hate following, I will like it. I enjoy movies that provoke a response, feelings, thinking. After finding a reasonably priced DVD, my husband purchased it as a gift for me (yay me!).


This movie resonated deeply with me on many levels – and I’m not talking about the murder part. Objectively, it was beautifully filmed, I loved the music, it was an interesting story, disturbing yet captivating. I identified with the main character’s sense of being a loner, of not knowing what love is, of not being heard or seen, being abandoned, being obsessed with something to the point of nothing else matters until you master it, knowing you will never be like others. I can see why many thought he had ASD. Obviously I identify with his extreme sense of smell. While mine is strong and I can smell things others can’t, smells hurt & burn me where as they didn’t seem to affect him as such. Even when I like a smell, which is very rare (fresh cut grass, peppermint, lemon, water, dirt), I can only tolerate it for a short period before it starts hurting me.


In the film, when he chose the longer path to Gras that took him up the mountains, the farthest away from society and discovered the cave with no smell, I actually cried. I so often wish I could find such a solace. I’ve read that in the book he stayed there for 7 years, which wasn’t thoroughly portrayed in the movie – you knew from his beard growth he’d been there awhile but I don’t believe they mentioned how long.


This movie was depressing and dark, but I did like it very much. Yes, there were multiple murders and even an orgy. Some of it was gross, though not very explicit. The movie made me sad, because I could relate to him (not the murders), and because someone (though fictional) with my same hypersensitivity, ended their sadness by their own hand. He could have been great, successful, even loved, had someone truly cared, educated, guided him. People failed him and he made bad choices. Either way, I thought it was a good movie and I am so glad I finally got to see it and obtain a copy.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Music for the Canine Household



Earlier in the year I entered a contest via Drs Foster & Smith and won a prize package of many dog related items. We have multiple dogs, but I wrote in particular about our first who had a troubling start in life and came to us with many health & behavior issues. One of the items in the package was a music CD; Through a Dog's Ear - Music for the Canine Household. It is meant to have a soothing impact on dogs and their owners. I put it away and forgot about it. The other week in searching for relaxing music to listen to, I took it out and decided to play it for our dogs. We have high energy Min Pins and they immediately settled down and fell asleep within minutes of playing. I also found myself relaxing and enjoyed the music! If you are seeking a collection of songs that are relaxing I recommend looking into this series (there are others to calm, for travel, etc)!
Here is the complete song list: 1. (Bach) Cello Sonata in C Major, Menuet 2. (Schumann) Traumerei 3. (Massenet) Melody 4. (Saint-Saens) The Swan (Carnival of The Animals) 5. (Bach) Prelude in C WTC Bk. 1 No. 1 6. (Bach) Arioso from Cantata No. 156 7. (Dvorak) New World Symphony Theme 8. (Bach) Cello Suite in G, Sarabande 9. (Schubert) Serenade 10. (Brahms) Intermezzo in E Op. 116 No. 4 11. (Mendelssohn) Cello Sonata in D Major, Op. 58 A.s 12. (Debussy) First Arabesque 13. (Bach) Aria Lento

Monday, September 22, 2014

40 Day Sadhana


Tonight is the Autumnal Equinox, at exactly 10:29pm tonight I believe and so then begins the first day of Fall. In the past I have participated in Sadhana where you commit to a physical a/o spiritual practice, for a set amount of time. The group I belong to always did them beginning of each Solstice for 40 days. Given the stress and pain I have been feeling of late, I am starting a 40 day Autumnal Equinox Sadhana today. I am committing to 40 days of Qi Gong or Yoga every day. I'm hoping that since holistic doctors believe chi is blocked when you have SPD and Qi Gong can unblock it, my sensory issues will be lessened. If it goes well perhaps I will join my group in the Winter Solstice Sadhana too come December.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Bela & Juji




We lost our Budgie (small parakeet), Bela (blue), Saturday. It was a shock: she had no signs of illness and was happy, chirping, playing the day before. I housed both of our Budgies in my office ever since we moved into this house, to protect them from our dogs and so they had plenty of time with me. They were free-flighted, trained, fun, little creatures who brought us so much joy.
Juji (green), the eldest passed in January of a cyst. I never thought I could love such a tiny creature so much, but I really gave her so much love & time. I spent four months training her via positive training daily so she would trust me and be able to fly wherever she wanted (pre-dogs). She was super smart and learned not to go on blinds, curtain rods, or anywhere else we didn’t want her. We bought her tons of toys & play gyms. She was so much fun, but truthfully she had a huge personality and was quite the diva. If she wasn’t happy, she let everyone know. She would scream, bite you where it hurt most – in between fingers or right under/next to your fingernail. Oh how I loved the little monster. When she was happy, she would snuggle me (she liked to cuddle under my chin), sing, play, explore. She was fearless. Some days she’d sit on my shoulders/chest for 6 hours. For her to take a bath she needed a lettuce leaf in some water and she would roll on it & splash around and make a huge mess. She made us laugh often. When she died she took a piece of my heart. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her, think of her, or wish she was still here.
After having her a year my husband picked out Bela, since at that time we traveled a lot and didn’t want Juji to be lonely when we were gone. Because she was his bird and Juji was so good, we didn’t spend as much time training and I didn’t get so attached to her. She followed Juji around and did whatever she did, but was also always a bit afraid, hesitant, and very needy.
After Juji died we weren’t sure what to do. Bela was so needy we thought she’d be lonely, so we found someone who works with my husband who is knowledgeable about and has birds and promised if we gave Bela to her she would get Bela a partner. We decided to wait and see. Then we thought Bela might be more comfortable at home with us since that was what she knew, we didn't want to stress her out. She no longer wanted to be out of cage other than her daily flight around my office. She no longer wanted to sit on me or play on a gym since Juji wasn’t there for her to follow. She still played a lot with the many toys in her cage, even more so with Juji gone – Juji was a bit of a bully and wouldn’t let Bela play with everything. I’d play music for her and she’d sing along and play. If I didn’t go in my office early enough for her she’d chirp until I did. She always greeted me when I came in and when I left for the day she’d cry.
We’re so sad that she is no longer with us. To be sitting here in my office is so depressingly quiet. I hope they are together again, flying free and playing peacefully.
I cry as I sit here taking apart their cage and going through their things; deciding what to toss, what to keep, what to donate, what to sell. We have 4 or 5 bins of toys in our pantry, a stand of toys, food, and play gyms, and more cages, toys, and play gyms in the basement. The other day I noticed a local humane society has Budgies that need homes and I thought maybe we could adopt a pair since we have everything they’d need, but I just don’t know if I can. I loved our two so much.
I’m quite angry that they died. Budgies can live many years (20+) and I read everything I could on taking proper care of them, feeding them veggies & fruits along with herbs, greens, healthy pellets and (few) seeds, we bought them a sun lamp, they had a large flight cage and were free-flighted, we spent a lot of time with them, they seemed happy and healthy. I thought we’d have a minimum of 10 years with them. 5/6 years is just NOT enough! Today I found a frog toy in the cage and the eyes were chewed off. I wonder if that is why Bela died – did she ingest them? I guess we’ll never know.
Having birds as pets was a great experience. Birds are very sensitive creatures with delicate respiratory systems and cannot tolerate many things that a person with SPD can’t – like smells, chemicals, smoke, toxins, etc. You cannot use Teflon around them, markers, paint, glue, candles, perfume, hairspray, air freshener, Febreeze, etc., they need a comfy temp – not too hot or too cold. They require quiet at times, didn’t like a lot of people around, and required a lot of sleep in the dark. We treated our birds as well as we possibly could and I hope they were happy and felt loved. We will forever miss them.
September is a crappy month for me as is; both my good friend of 25 years died on the 23rd and my dad died on the 28th, so to have another loved one die this month just sucks.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Magnesium


I've read many articles that state magnesium is another mineral that is important to every part of the body & required for the proper function of nerves. Those with SPD a/o ASD struggle to digest it properly due to poorly functioning digestive systems and a supplement is recommended by many doctors since a deficiency can cause neurological problems. So, I am going to try taking the above an hour before bed and see if it helps in any way. I've read it can help prevent panic attacks/anxiety, stop insomnia, end muscle cramps, stop headaches, give energy, stop heart palpitations, lower blood pressure, is used to treat ADHD, PMS, asthma, fibromyalgia, and end restless leg syndrome. I've also read to start slow since it can act like a laxative. So I will check back with my thoughts & experience in the future. I am hoping it helps me get better and longer sleep, since I am a super light sleeper and struggle to sleep well.
You can find Calm at iherb.com and use coupon code MOD625 to get $5 off your first purchase!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Happiness


I recently viewed a documentary on PBS titled Happy (I highly recommend viewing! -just a side note: I love documentaries, information, psychology, self help!). I found this to be a very inspiring doc. I totally agree that the hedonic treadmill is a vicious cycle that causes unhappiness (the more you have the more you want) and have known this for most of my life and have never been one to keep up with the Jones’. This documentary was a lovely reminder that happiness is available to all.
Having SPD makes me feel a wide range of emotions and I often forget that there is more to life than pain. I find myself angry a lot due to the injustices of SPD and have to remind myself of the things that make me happy and do them. I’ve compiled a long list of things that make me happy and keep them on my computer to serve as a reminder and set out to do at least one of them daily. My list proves that for me, the best things in life are indeed free! It doesn’t cost anything to laugh with my husband, to read, to play with my dogs, to do something for others, to be in nature, to create.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dentist Appointment


Dentist appointment yesterday. Blech. Hate, hate, hate going to the dentist and not because I don’t like my dentist (I actually have one I really like!) or have a fear about going. I don’t like going because it hurts horribly. For hours and days afterward. Yes, a simple cleaning can be extremely painful. I always get some anxiety before going because I know what it is going to feel like and for how long. Having SPD, I experience pain from many activities that most people do not; lights, sound, smell, touch, décor, energy, heat. It’s not necessarily that I don’t like these things, it is that they hurt me. I went to my appointment prepared; took some L-Theanine that had me very relaxed, several ibuprophen, fidgets in hand, mantra in mind, dark glasses on, even counted screen holes in ceiling fan to distract my mind from what I was feeling. Yes, it went smoothly and I did not panic or have an anxious meltdown of any sort and on the bright side my teeth are now sparkly clean. I'm proud of myself for not cancelling my appointment (and trust me I thought about it and really wanted to). That said I left with red rashy skin, hives, sweating, headache, jaw pain, canker sores from gloved fingers/tools in my mouth, throbbing temples, dizzy, eyes hurt, itchy, nausea, exhausted, and feeling like someone beat me up, all from a typical cleaning. Four hours after appointment I was still in pain despite taking more ibuprophen. Noises sound magnified, felt totally overwhelmed by everything afterward. Wake up this morning to swollen face, sore jaw, sore tongue, sore teeth, headache. SPD sucks and is a total curse in times like this! Yes I went to my appointment and didn’t die from it, but I truly hurt and pills, a positive attitude, preparedness – nothing stops it. My hygienist is aware of my TMJ and SPD and they do try to give me breaks, let me close my jaw often, try to be quick, and not hurt me & I am so thankful for that.
My main coping tool afterward is to go home and snuggle my dogs - what a comfort they are!! I love that they are affectionate, fun, loving, and want to be with me all the time. I can never feel bad for long around them, even when in pain. If I cry, they lick my tears. No matter how much pain I am in, I often find myself laughing at their silly antics. They truly are the best cure all drug! Love, love, love my dogs!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Song That Caught My Ear

Ever hear a song that catches your ear? I was listening to Americana songs the other night and this came on. Something about it called to me. Makes me think of being in nature, sunshine, happy. Love her voice. Just thought I'd share...





Blurring days together, one sip at a time
We drove north to the woods and took a walk outside
Getting lost to free our minds
Listen to the quiet, hear the heartbeat of the pines


Let the sun kiss away the pale
Let the wind run through our hair
Tell our souls don't give in to fear
Leave no trace
Leave no trace of being here


Tension nearly drowned us, one day at a time
Filled our hands with regret, and my bed with crimes
Losing breath with every lie
Listen to the quiet, hear the heartbeat of the pines
 
Let the sun kiss away the pale
Let the wind run through our hair
Tell our souls don't give in to fear
Leave no trace


We've taken this trail as far as it can go
Turn around, take it home
Turn around, take it home


Let the sun kiss away the pale
Let the wind run through our hair
Tell our souls don't give in to fear
Leave no trace
Leave no trace of being here

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Helpful Finds


Found this book on Amazon.com and ordered. Can't wait to read! You can view the table of contents and sneak a peek at Amazon. An Aspie's Guide to Life on Earth - love that title. I'm sure I will review it here after reading.


Saw this website, Avoid Humans, posted on Facebook. Very cool, based on your location, it lists places (bars, coffee shops, libraries, restaurants, etc.) near you with the least amount of humans. Great idea! Will be using for sure. Check it out at Avoid Humans.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Supplements


I have been, for the most part happily, enjoying my Spring /Summer by spending plenty of time outdoors with my dogs, planting & tending to flower beds, and doing home improvement projects.
One of my last posts I wrote about Methyl B12. I wanted to give it enough time to see whether or not it would truly help. I do believe it has. My husband said he noticed a difference in me and other than the first three days when I did feel very hypersensitive with all of my senses, I feel better. After doing more research a month after I started taking the Methyl B12, I added other supplements and they also seem to help. I’ve been taking 800mcgs of Megafolinic once daily, 100mgs of L-Theanine once daily, a probiotic once daily of 14 billion good bacteria, and a 1000mg Flaxseed pill for Omega 3 daily. This partnered with almost daily skin brushing and joint compressions has been helping me tremendously. I still have had some bad days or things outside my control set off my senses, but I generally feel better, more in control of my reactions, can make better decisions, stop a meltdown before it starts. I’ve been sleeping better and my digestion and tummy issues have also improved.

I have been getting more sun and fresh air and that could also have something to do with feeling good. There was a time that for 3 days in a row, I forgot to take my pills the other week and I felt horrible, depressed, super sensitive, gloomy.
All of the supplements I am taking are available at Iherb and if you use coupon code MOD625, you will receive $5 off your first order or $10 off your first order of $40 or more!
So I am still plugging away at this new journey; learning, seeking help, trying new things. Some days I can forget all about it, others I curse it with tears.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Methyl B12


A person in one of my groups reported that their doctor prescribed them injections of 1mg of Methyl B12 for sensory issues related to their Asperger's Syndrome. Out of curiosity I looked it up and see there are tons of articles and studies promoting the use of Methyl B12 to treat the symptoms of Autism. Methyl B12 for general use reports promoting better sleep cycles, digestion, lifting brain fog, brain and nerve health, and partnered with Folic Acid reduces levels of homocysteine.

I am not a doctor nor am I advising anyone to try this, but upon further research and out of desperation to lessen my own sensory issues, I have decided to try it for myself. Most doctors advise taking an intramuscular injection or nasal spray, but over the counter sublingual form is acceptable. Pills that you swallow do not work as well since you must have a healthy gut to be able to digest and absorb them properly.


The US National Library of Medicine reports that a study on the effect of Methyl B12 on children with Autism suggests it is ineffective on treating behavioral symptoms but may alleviate symptoms of Autism possibly by reducing oxidative stress.


The most common side effects are: sensory overload, poor or disrupted sleep, hyperactivity, increased stimming, and mouthing of objects. Many articles suggest lowering the dose if side effects should occur.


Consistent delivery should be given the first five weeks and to achieve maximum effectiveness, 18-24 months.


I've found Methyl B12 is not that cheap and is not the same as B12 - it must say Methyl or Methylcobalamin. However almost all grocery and drug stores in my area carry the micro lozenges. I was able to pick up a bottle of 90 5,000mcg micro lozenges at CVS with a manufacturers coupon and a sale for only $9, but it is normally priced $18 and change. I also ordered some at 10,000mcg that are also vegan and gluten-free from IHerb.com. *If you are a new customer use coupon code MOD625 to get $5 off your first purchase or $10 off your purchase over $40! Right now IHerb has a trial in which you can try a bottle of 30 5,000mcg Methyl B12 tablets for only .50 cents!


It is widely known that people who follow a strict Vegetarian diet are deficient in B12, and as a long time Vegetarian who is very picky and refuses to eat many things, it probably can't hurt me to try it. I will post any observations or side effects.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Friday, March 21, 2014

See Through Autistic Eyes

What a difference two days of sunshine make! I am feeling better.

Someone in one of my Aspie groups posted this interesting video on experiencing Autism. While this is a girl with non-verbal Autism and I have verbal high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder, much of this is spot on for me; her correcting her sister, the sensory bombardment (light, sound, movement), feeling like people are looking at you & hating eye contact, the frustration, not being heard, the anxiety...


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Meltdown Alert!


Sometimes I feel like I’m an alien from another planet and don’t belong here. I just don’t relate to people, I don’t understand social cues, I never know what is the “right” thing to do, what is too much or not enough. I am usually accepting and happy with myself and glad that I am different.

But sometimes, like today, my life is overwhelming: when I can’t sleep, I’m sick with allergies & possibly a touch of the flu, sensory issues are extremely troublesome, recent dental visit hurt & stressed me out, weather is dark & gloomy, and other things outside my control are extremely upsetting, I feel like I could cry for days. I feel like I want to have a meltdown and lie on the floor kicking my feet and screaming it isn’t fair, why me, how much do I have to endure!?

I really don’t want this blog to be a bitch fest, I hate complainers and complaining. I aim to be positive, informative, and helpful. I know everyone has bad days and they are normal, but mine seem to be magnified by 1 million. So for now I will allow myself this pity party and have myself a good cry, hug my dog, curl up in bed with a good book and a cup of tea, and spend quality time with my husband when he gets home and make tomorrow a better day.

If you suffer from SPD or any other ailment, I’m with ya. I feel your pain. I know your struggle. Life sucks sometimes. It does always get better. We just need to hang in there and count our blessings. If all else fails, do something to make someone else’s day better. How can you not feel good making someone else smile?


Monday, March 17, 2014

Lunar Effect


I have difficulty sleeping during the 4 or so days around a full moon. It isn't the light from a full moon as we close our light blocking curtains at night and the moon isn't always shining on my window. I don't always know when a full moon occurs, but I always wake up when the moon crests the top of our house and is over my bedroom. Our bedroom can be pitch black and I will wake up and tell my husband I bet it is a full moon or close to one. It never fails. It is quite irritating. The other night my allergies were bothering me so I took 2 Benadryl - which always knocks me out, and something else for sleep to guarantee a good nights sleep, and sure enough, come 4am, I am wide awake for no reason - don't have to use the restroom, no noise, no light. Tired, but wide awake. I open the curtains and look outside, sure enough an almost full moon above.

I've looked this up and there are studies that say the moon can affect our sleep, mood, and actions, and others that say it isn't possible. Well, I can say for certain it affects my sleep. I feel the moon, not sure how to explain it other than I can sense some light energy/buzzing. I'm not sure how to handle it because I am not a heavy sleeper to begin with and once awake have a hard time falling back asleep. I've taken sleeping pills, other meds, tried yoga, meditation, breathing exercises. In the past I've never kept track of moon cycles. I hate to think I will always be woken up during this time.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Movie Review


The other day I watched a movie called Perfect Sense. I saw a preview for it and knew I had to see it since the subject matter is a disease in which you lose your senses. It was an interesting concept, one in which I have to say caused me much wishful thinking.

As I’ve mentioned before the sense that causes me the biggest amount of grief is the sense of smell. In the movie it is how the disease first starts out. Since memory and smell are linked closely together, people start experiencing overwhelming grief as they recall moments of sadness and loss; death, end of friendships, wrongful doings. Then their sense of smell is completely gone. They call it S.O.S. – Severe Olfactory Syndrome. Then it progresses to other emotions followed by the loss of other senses; taste, hearing, sight. Meanwhile the main characters meet and fall in love. The movie follows their story as the world is falling apart. How I wish I had their problem, especially the loss of sense of smell. Loss of taste wouldn’t be so bad either, as I enjoy the taste of food way too much and could stand to lose some weight. Hearing, sight, and touch would truly be a loss because even though they may cause me problems, they are a gift much of the time.

I found this to be a truly thought provoking movie that really hit home and made me wonder what it would be like to not have the sensory issues I do, how the loss of other senses would affect life, how I appreciate my (other) senses. While I don’t generally care for the two main actors; Ewan McGregor and Eva Green, I thought they acted very well and were believable. The film takes place in Glasgow, Scotland though the disease spreads all over the world. Ewan plays a chef and Eva a scientist. Many of the camera angles were shot in an artful way which I always notice and appreciate.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Happy Birthday Colin!!


Yesterday evening someone in one of my Asperger's online groups posted this STORY. I also read this STORY about him. This young boy was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder and is hypersensitive to lights and sounds and has a disorder similar to Asperger's. He will be 11yrs old March 9th. His mom mentioned having a birthday party and he said, "there would be no point in throwing a birthday party because all of the kids at school don't like me and make fun of me." So she posted a FACEBOOK PAGE so family and friends could post birthday wishes and send him birthday cards. His story has been spreading like wildfire and even made the national news, I believe on GMA this morning. How cool that she has been receiving cards for him from all over the world! If you'd like to send him a birthday card, you can do so at:
Colin
PO box 756
Richland, MI 49083-0756  USA

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Bleach as a Treatment!?




I just read the most sad and horrifying thing last night. Apparently some parents and groups are advocating that not only should Autism be cured, but they are promoting giving bleach enemas, baths, and supplements to autistic children every 2 hours for 72 hours or longer, then upping the dose when vomiting and diarrhea cease. WTF!?

I’m sure being a parent to an autistic child who is non-verbal and uncontrollable is difficult, but really, you think giving them bleach, or MMS – the Miracle Mineral Solution as they’re calling the homemade industrial strength bleach, is the solution?  HERE is the FDA's safety alert on it.
What about me, I may only have High Functioning Autism, but do I need to be cured? I tell people I have been blessed with Asperger’s/ASD/ HFA (I have higher than normal intelligence, am very creative & artistic, think differently, and consider myself gifted in many ways because of Asperger’s) and cursed with SPD. I can live with my form of Autism - the SPD I’d like to do without & have a cure for as it can be truly debilitating.

Anyway, these are children; human beings with feelings, thoughts, hopes, dreams, life and you want to give them bleach? What is this world coming to? I say an eye for an eye; give bleach to the parents and see how they like it and see if it cures their idiocy!
Many groups advocate treatment of some sort for all types of Autism. I find this quite offensive. I like being different, thinking differently. Most people suck, why would I want to be like everyone else? I am intelligent, considerate, polite, quiet, artistic, thoughtful, and many other things. Just because I am viewed as unsocial and like to be alone or with few loved ones does not mean I want to learn how to be or be more social! I am not hurting anyone by being me, so unless you can fix my SPD, I do not need to be treated! I’m sure many others with Autism Spectrum Disorders feel the same. Let us be and stop trying to fix us.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Misunderstood Again

So yesterday we ventured out into the sunshine; to get out, get into nature, take some nature photos, do some shopping, have lunch. We head to the store first. Because it is winter and cold out (around 10F), they turn the heat up high so all the older women who shop there (large bead store) can be comfortable. I am prone to overheating and have reactions to being too hot; hives, flushing, shaking, hypoglycemia if I stress about it, feel generally sick, panic, fainting (well this has happened only once and hopefully never again!). So after 5 minutes inside I am already uncomfortable and feel hot. I start sweating, so I take off my jacket. I start shaking and feel like I am going to fall down. I can feel myself flush and am starting to panic, which only makes me hotter. I have my husband hold my jacket and my tray of goodies and tell him we are going to have to leave. He says I should step outside to cool down, I say no let’s just pay and go, I am really thirsty now and feel like I need to get out of there. So we head to the cash register, only one other in front of us already paying, thankfully. The lady at the cash register has to do some price checks on my selections – I am freaking out, afraid I will pass out. She comes back and apologizes for the wait. I smile and say no problem. Then the phone rings and she answers it, again says sorry for the wait. I’m freaking out, feeling sweat run down my head and back, my face hot and I’m sure red. I have 3 frequent beader cards that need to be consolidated & then punched and she again apologizes for taking so long. What is so frustrating is even though I try to be polite and smile, I’m sure I look mad or angry. I’m not though, just trying to manage, get through, not faint or shake so uncontrollably that I look like a freak. When I blow air on my face it isn’t me sighing or doing it out of irritation, I’m trying to cool myself down!




I’ve found some relief since learning about SPD & causes and how to manage, but it is so depressing that it will not go away, there is no cure, and I am so often misunderstood. It seems like my entire life is spent managing; managing my body, my reactions, my food, my environment, my stresses and hypersensitivities. I think because I look “normal” people just assume I am rude, bitchy, whatever and not that I am sick or there is anything wrong going on with me. I don’t look autistic or like I have a sensory disorder. I feel bad for the people I come into contact with that think I am being bitchy, I’m really not. I don’t mean to offend or seem rude. I’m just trying to manage and if you don’t know what I am dealing with and thinking and feeling inside, you have no idea. So once again…




Perhaps I need to get the above printed on a t-shirt and wear it everywhere I go.


On the bright side I got some really good treasures at the bead store, we went to the park and saw 5 deer. We witnessed a beautiful sunset and had a late lunch out.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Jewelry Design





One of my favorite hobbies is jewelry design in bead weaving. Something about the repetitive motion of weaving is very calming & meditative. I get in a zone and just keep going. I guess it is like stimming; self soothing. Good thing it is relaxing because usually one piece can take many hours over days and sometimes weeks to complete, working with so many tiny beads. Beading for me, like most things, is all about numbers. I find number combinations in everything. There is usually a pattern to be found and then it is a matter of counting once you figure out the number pattern. I like to look at a bead weaving stitch and work it like a puzzle. I love to figure things out; stitches, puzzles, Sudoku, recipes, brain teasers, formulas. I also love the feel of a bead woven piece in my hands - the beads are mostly smooth and cool, a larger piece is flexible and somehow comforting. To create something from a vision in your mind and to have it work out and look as imagined, is so rewarding. I’ve never taken a bead weaving class, and never will; I just don’t believe you can teach design and I don’t want to pick up anyone else’s influence in my work. So I enjoy the journey, learn from my mistakes, and try new things as patience allows.





I’ve tried creating many types of jewelry, have done plenty of stringing & wire work and enjoy it, but my heart is more into the design of truly one-of-a-kind, complicated, and asymmetrical jewelry designs in bead weaving and bead embroidery. I find when designing jewelry I rarely like things to be symmetrical. Many designers say a piece must have balance, I on the other hand love to push for something that can be attractive & cool but still not run of the mill with both sides being uneven and different. The rebel in me wants to break the rules.
I (think I) have been successful in my jewelry business, I have set out to do what I wanted to – get sales on and (preferably) off Etsy, get published, win & place in contests, and stay true to my creativity. My necklace Blue (pictured below) made it to the front page of Etsy France. I’ve also done jewelry repair, jewelry replacement, custom work, been invited to submit work to magazines & publishers, have been asked to be a bead ambassador for a commercial bead company (rejected proposal due to poor quality beads and findings, would have otherwise accepted but I won’t work with or represent cheap Chinese crap – ha there are my Asperger’s black & white ethics in play – could have received free beads & media, but my morals won’t let me work with something I don’t believe in no matter what is offered to me), and will begin a new journey in creating my own beads and cabochons soon. I choose not to participate in craft fairs, I'd rather do juried art shows if anything since my pieces involve much work, are higher priced, and I would never sell them for a low cost just to make a sale.

I am currently working on an asymmetrical necklace for one of my beading groups that does a monthly challenge. The theme is "Am I Blue". Ironically blue is not one of my favorite colors, but it seems I have done more jewelry in blues than any other color. I’m done embroidering and weaving and am now just sewing it together. I wove 4 different parts – 2 straps, 1 embroidered piece and a bezeled crystal. I am so close to being finished. So far it has taken at least 8 hours. Once finished, I will welcome the break. This is the first piece I’ll have completed in a year. I took some time off to buy a house, move, paint, adopt 2 rescue dogs, relax, and enjoy our home & yard. I will post my completed piece when all is done. Pictured here are other pieces of mine.

©2014 Bliss Works Studio

Friday, January 24, 2014

My Perspective on the Battle Over Marijuana Legalization

I keep seeing the battle over marijuana, medical marijuana, decriminalization, and legalization in the news, online, in print, on NPR. As usual, my view is not the popular one. I do not want it legalized or decriminalized. Why? Well, having Sensory Processing Disorder makes me extremely hypersensitive to smells. Marijuana has a very strong odor and it hurts me. It is much worse than the smell of cigarettes, which also causes me pain. I have a neighbor that has an occasional cigarette in their open garage. I have never smelled it surprisingly, but someone can smoke a joint many blocks away and I can smell it intensely. We moved several times to get away from neighbors who smoke marijuana. Now that we bought a house I can smell sometimes in the evening someone within a 2-4 block radius or so smokes it at night. It hits me like a brick wall when I take my dogs outside. I smell it immediately; it hurts my head, my sinuses, makes me dizzy, hurts my ears & throat, makes me want to vomit. I can smell it even before my husband does or even if he can’t. And even though I am outside, it penetrates my clothing and I can smell it on them up to an hour later, even though the person(s) smoking are never seen or anywhere nearby that I can tell.

One might argue that if legalized it can be ingested, yeah, but many are still going to smoke it. And even if it is only legalized for medical use, that means my very close neighbor who has kidney cancer can sign up, get a card, and grow two plants in her back yard and smoke it outside and I will be stuck inside my house, won’t be able to open my windows on warm days, won’t be able to step out to let my dogs go to the bathroom unless I want to get sick. Her second hand smoke may irritate my lungs, give me cancer, hurt my sinuses and there will be nothing I can do to protect my own health and well-being. Dogs have died and gotten extremely ill from ingesting marijuana, so should she accidentally drop part of the plant, a joint/roach, or a leaf blows in my backyard, it could kill my dogs.

I will admit I have tried it myself in my teens and twenties. And I can say from experience it made my anxiety and insomnia a million times worse and did nothing for my pain & SPD issues.

A woman in one of my SPD groups who lives in Colorado has said her family has always relied on public transportation and now that marijuana has been legalized it is smoked openly in public and sometimes even on the bus. While someone may get kicked off the bus or may smoke it right before getting on, they bring with them the horrible smell. She can no longer ride the bus because her 10 year old son has Sensory Processing Disorder and the smell hurts him and he gets sick and has extreme meltdowns. They now have to pay more to take a taxi and she fears they will encounter the same problem and may have to move since they cannot afford a car at this time.

A friend of my husband's with lung problems lives in Washington and has complained of the same thing. He doesn’t own a car, has always taken the bus to his job and around town. But now that pot is widely smoked, drunken young people at night take the bus and sit in the back and smoke pot. They exit before they are caught or thrown off, but the smell lingers and he gets sick and cannot breathe, coughs, and has to take medicine.

So please tell me for those of us who have breathing problems, illnesses, disorders, Autism - why would we ever want this legalized if it is going to hurt us? Many people already are so self-involved, inconsiderate, ignorant, so now they can kill off more brain cells and make others sick too? I have several acquaintances that have husbands that smoke pot like it is air and have done so for 15-20 years or more. They both have that ridiculous Beavis and Butthead huh huh laugh. Neither is very intelligent, has a good job, or really anything to show for their life. They live to smoke. They might argue it is their right. I think they have the right to do whatever it is that makes them happy, if they want to be a brain dead twit, so be it. But when it starts hurting others, making others sick, affecting the well-being and lives of those who value their life, their brain, their health, there lies the problem and my belief that it absolutely should not be legalized because it is not your right to make others sick.

If it can be used to help one medically, then it should be in pill, oil, or another form that will not affect others in any way and dispensed only by a medical doctor. I believe it should not be grown, stored, or sold to anyone other than a person with a medical license.

A person I went to school with is fighting to make medical marijuana legal in our state because she wants to try it on her daughter who suffers horrible seizures. I understand her plight, but once you open that can of worms, you cannot close it. Without strict regulations, it will affect others negatively, even if legalized for medical use only.

For once I am happy I live in a state run by Republicans that are actually pushing to get tougher on pot possession! I know there will come a day when all of it will change and it will be legalized, and honestly I don’t know what the heck I will do, because it could drastically change my life negatively. I already don’t go out much due to my symptoms. I struggle most days just to be pain-free and “normal”. I know how pot directly and indirectly affects me, and it physically hurts & makes me sick.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Hypoglycemia

I apologize for the Browser problems, the font size and spacing is appearing funky - it is unintentional, so please bear with me...

I was relieved to read that SPD can lead to Hypoglycemia. I guess that is an odd thing to say, but over the past 5-6 years I have had on again off again issues with low blood sugar. SPD & the stress from it throws off your sugar levels and can lead to Hypoglycemia. It was a relief to find out why this was also happening to me.  Sometimes it is very bad, sometimes is easily corrected. Many times it happens during PMS and is much worse during PMS. I know that if I don’t eat every 3 hours I can have a low blood sugar episode. I will get light headed, dizzy, feel faint, get shaky, have uncontrollable muscle spasms & jerking, get confused, can’t think, get very upset, panic, cry, have heart palpitations, can vomit, sweat, and get overheated. It doesn’t happen regularly, so I never know when to expect it. I can go months without an issue even if I eat poorly, skip a meal, or not eat enough. Many times I will go months without an incident and then BAM! I have one and it is so extremely scary.

When I have a problem, it tends to be hard to correct over the next few days & I will be prone to episodes and it feels like a roller coaster. After an episode I feel like I’ve been run over by a Mack truck. My body will hurt, I will have bad headaches, I feel run down and worn out. I’m so afraid I will have a seizure, which can happen. I’ve had pretty bad Auras. I was told when I have an Aura I should go to the ER and get a monitored injection of Imitrex, but I don’t, since when I used to (many years ago I had to from birth control pills – I had bad reactions to the abundance of Estrogen, experienced super scary mini strokes, horrible Auras, projectile vomiting, and severe migraines) it never helped and only added to my stress.

I had low blood sugar 2 days ago and have been reeling since. It was innocent enough, I woke up, planned on eating breakfast, but the dogs were hungry, needed to go out, then wanted to play. My husband was going to run to the store and get some items for me to cook for us. I ate something small and sugary as a pre-breakfast snack, forgot to eat within a reasonable amount of time, had a sugar crash and there began a bad episode.  Then yesterday and today I felt on the edge and shaky and nearly had several attacks. At times I feel depressed & sorry for myself. Just one more way that having SPD sucks. It isn’t bad enough that my senses are bombarded with so much stimuli, but I have to also have this side effect that makes day to day living even more of a struggle.

The last time I had an episode was in October when my mother-in-law was visiting. It is hard because other people don’t have this issue, don’t understand, and don’t have to eat on a schedule. We were out and actually on our way to a restaurant for lunch, but had gone over 5 hours without eating. I started shaking uncontrollably and thank God I had a tube of glucose in my purse, and thankfully we were in a different vehicle and they didn’t witness my attack. I generally don’t care to share my issues with others. I don’t want to be judged, thought of as less, felt sorry for, or looked at strangely. Plus I am a private person. I don’t like to be talked about or in the spotlight; unless it is for something I have worked hard for and am appreciated for, and even then I like my accolades in small, reserved doses. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

New Browser Issues


My new browser is not supported by Blogger, therefore it is acting funky, giving error messages, and not allowing me to post photos. Not sure what to do at this point, I'm not going to switch or back track to an older version. Hopefully it will publish this post without errors.

Anyway, I am recovering from being sick, we lost a beloved pet, and I am starting a new beading project, so I may not be back for a bit. I "came out" to my mother, I had refrained from telling her about my SPD & AS for many reasons. I found a couple things that have been helping my SPD symptoms and have had some really great "normal" days. I've also had a few frustrating issues Asperger related. I'm sure I'll post about all the above mentioned. Back soon

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Our trip to see Amma


As I mentioned in my last post, the author, Ted Zeff, is a follower of Amma and he mentions her a few times in his below mentioned book along with the healing power of touch & hugs for those with SPD.

We had seen a news piece on Amma; her teachings, message of unconditional love, hugging millions of people around the world and saying prayers for them. It sure sounded cool – someone selflessly going around hugging everyone spreading a message of love & hope. After more research we decided to experience it for ourselves & receive Amma’s Darshan (blessing) since she was going to be only a couple hours away.
We arrived early, received our token, and waited in line for about an hour and a half before being let into a large conference room barefoot. Once inside they had everyone gather and sit on the floor in lotus pose, preparing for Amma’s arrival and the start of a group meditation. My husband and I sat rather close to Amma’s center spot, while my mother, having knee problems, sat further back in a chair. There was a quiet but exciting buzz in the room. Some of her followers are a bit overzealous. Telling us that Mother knows all, sees the future, she will heal all, we will become followers and see her yearly once we receive her love & hug. I will admit I was kind of freaking out thinking what did we get ourselves into, is this some kind of cult? But once Amma entered the room, you could feel such a warm, positive energy, such excitement, and a low vibration. It was strange but neat. Amma radiates a peaceful glow and is very beautiful – pictures do not do her justice. Once she was seated they began the group meditation with a large stretched out Om chanted by all – which was so cool because you could feel this sound, the vibration was so intense, felt like it penetrated your entire body, fingers, toes, hair. Even my husband, who does not have any type of SPD issues, said he felt it quite strongly. It was amazing. So once the meditation was over they have people get in two lines in front of Amma. You kneel and crawl forward as you wait for your turn. My mom again having knee trouble was able to go first in a line for disabled people and she was not required to kneel or crawl, was able to sit in chairs and then stand/bend over for her embrace. I watched as she was hugged and they say Amma may offer extra prayers, hugs, etc if she feels inclined to do so and with my mom she grabbed her a second time and hugged her hard, praying for her. My mom started crying uncontrollably and said it was a very emotional experience for her and she doesn’t know why it made her cry. But it had an impact on her and she still talks about it. I started feeling anxious, not knowing what to expect or how I would feel. Then it was our turn. As we crawled forward, I felt so nervous, wondering will this make me cry like it did my mom? As we hit the front of the line, they take your token and you are guided forward into Amma’s arms. You lie across her lap kind of with your head to the side facing away from her on her shoulder and she wraps her arms firmly around you. In my hand Amma placed a flower, some candy, and hugged me deeply while rocking me and beginning a Hindu prayer I made a note of to remember, so I could look up what it meant later. Now my husband and I shared the same experience during our individual embraces – it felt like a boost of positive energy, and our minds went completely blank – no thoughts, no anxiety, everything went away – sounds, smell, time. At the time it felt as though I went limp in her arms and became a happy blob. I was the only one to receive the prayer I did, I don’t believe she said a prayer out loud for my husband, but said a different one for my mom. When I was home I looked it up and amazingly it applied to me, my situation at the time and a problem I was having.
When she is finished you are guided to the side where you can sit, reflect, recover, before being urged to the back of the room to peruse her store, pray in the empty seats or on the side of the room, to the cafeteria for a Vegetarian lunch with water blessed by Amma, elsewhere to wait for one of her other programs (yoga, meditation, etc.), to watch others being embraced, or to leave if you wish. We visited her store and purchased a few items – a sandalwood mala, prayer card, and I bought a silver OM pendant blessed by Amma. Then we headed to the cafeteria for the lunch, which was impressively good. If I recall correctly, it was Dal, a lentil curry, with rice and vegetables.
Now having SPD, I had some concerns about this entire experience beforehand, one of which was germs – yes, I am a germaphobe and seeing video of Amma’s shoulder completely stained with tears, dirt, oil from many people was alarming, which is why we were one of the first to arrive – I wanted to be one of the first ones in contact with her to avoid germs as much as I could. lol Another concern was the energy of so many people, the noise, the smells. I do recall there being some light scent of incense or sandalwood, but not enough to bother me more than passing irritation. Everyone was instructed to be quiet and meditate or pray while waiting, so it was rather quiet the entire time, I think overall we were there 4 or 5 hours. The energy in the room and from everyone was amazing – it was positive & bright the entire time, without being overstimulating. I would go again to explore the experience more, and in this day and age, who couldn’t use unconditional love, a blessing, prayers, or a hug?! Does it make me want to become a regular follower, no. I am not fond of any type of organized religion, nor do I follow any one particular religious path or leader. But I am a very spiritual person that prays and meditates often. I consider myself open to many teachings and ways, but would consider myself Agnostic.
Anyway, this was a memorable, positive experience. Sometimes, having SPD I back out of plans, hide from overstimulation, but sometimes, I have to remind myself to get out and experience new things even if a little scary; sometimes they are valuable and full of insight.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Book Review & Suggestion



I finished reading The Highly Sensitive Person. I maintain that I did not like this book. It is filled with contradictions, offensive suggestions and stereotypes. Putting on a persona (mask) and trying to be someone else for a while or acting like others is not acceptable, does not make symptoms go away, and it does not allow one to be true to themselves. The author goes on and on about thinking over your past, your symptoms, how you react – as one with SPD (and Asperger’s), I think a lot, I overthink and then think again. How is thinking more going to help? I’ve already thought myself crazy over the years trying to figure out why this was happening to me. Thinking about it more or examining how I feel about it doesn’t help me in the least. I want factual medical info, useful suggestions of things to ease symptoms. Other than explaining that shy is not an acceptable term and is very negative (in which I highly agree - I am not timid or shy, have never felt shy) and reframing SPD as a trait, I did not find this book useful or containing anything helpful and do not recommend it.  
 
 
I have also finished reading The Highly Sensitive Person’s Survival Guide, by a different author; Ted Zeff, but meant to accompany the above mentioned book. Again I find the title/HSP term offensive and don’t understand why they don’t use proper terminology. This book I enjoyed and highly recommend. The author describes having SPD from when he was in the 5th grade and seems to know what he is talking about. Right from page 20 and then through the entire book there are suggestions of things to try, things I have tried that have helped to some degree; meditation, visualization, exercise, breathing, diet tips.
One thing I found interesting is the author is a follower of Ammachi, aka Amma, and talks a little about her healing touch. She is a spiritual leader from India, known as the hugging saint a/o Mother and has hugged millions of people across the world. A few years ago my husband, mother, and I went to see her when she was touring the US and was going to be South of Chicago. It was an intriguing experience I’ll share in my next post.