Homepersonal experienceThe Wheels on the Bus Go…What’s That SMELL?

Yesterday, I took my six month pilgrimage to the dentist’s office for a cleaning, check up, and cancer screening. At least, that’s what the reminder e-mail said it was.

This picture captures the mood nicely.

The appointment itself was rather uneventful, but since my dentist is downtown, I always take the bus there and back. Now, I hadn’t ridden on a bus in quite a while before yesterday, so I had forgotten just how overwhelming the experience can be on a sensory level.

I’m not sure how that happened, since I’d taken the thing every day for years. For a while, I was working seven days a week at two low paying jobs, so it’s not like it was a new experience.

Yesterday, however, I noticed the toxic brew of perfumes, cigarette smoke and other city smells far more than usual. Even though the buses weren’t terribly loud for a change, I still found myself cringing at passing sirens and the occasional alarm going off unexpectedly.

The day was also beautifully sunny, but when I was already feeling tenderized by all of this unexpected sensory input, I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I would have liked.

By the time I got to the grocery store to meet my husband, I was pretty shell shocked and spacey.

Combine that with the latest Weather System of Doom that’s dropping a fresh coating of snow on us, and the cerebral pain from the headache gnomes this morning is no surprise. At least the gnomes’ jack hammering isn’t hard enough to turn it into a migraine this time.

Stupid Doom System. Stupid headache gnomes. Stupid sensory overload.

This does offer a good example of how unpredictable and frustrating things like SPD are. I’m an adult living with the symptoms, but it must be so much harder to be a child with a more severe case of it. I already know from my wonderful friends and family who parent kids with SPD that it’s frustrating to care for a little one with sensory problems.

I’d just like to give a little extra shout out to those moms, dads and other caretakers out there who do their best to make their kids’ lives a little more tolerable. I’d also like to give a shout out to others who struggle with these issues. It’s no fun, but hey, I guess it could be worse.

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