Life with Sensory Processing Disorder

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, d├ęcor, 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!