Homeadults with learning disabilitiesPain, Muscle and 3D Thought
Anatomical drawing by Leonardo daVinci Uploaded by Fae [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The only class I’ve ever failed was myology – the study of muscles. It was only by two points, but my ultimate downfall was an inability to memorize all of the names.

Despite the fact I could easily reproduce their shape and placement in clay, demonstrate exactly how they work and identify problem areas, I still failed the class. That was when I was in massage school, and instead of letting me take just that class again, they wanted me to retake (and re-pay for) the entire program.

Yeah, that was the school that said they could accommodate my dyslexia, but really had no clue.

I’ll be posting this on Saturday, but I’m actually writing this at half past midnight on Friday. It’s been a stressful year, and insomnia’s shaking me like a dog does a toy.

One of my immediate family members has been in and out of the hospital for entirely too long now, and there have been other larger than usual tensions in my life all year. My mind won’t be quiet about it tonight, but what was keeping me up was a splitting headache.

One of the mild, though extraordinarily frustrating, chronic physical problems I have is scoliosis. The primary curve is in my upper back, and there are smaller secondary curves in my neck (at the first vertebrae) and mid/lower back.

That curve in my neck causes migraines from time to time, and the other curves give me muscular pain. I’ve been feeling it all week.

My curve is higher up and not quite this severe, but it is bad enough to cause problems when I’m not careful or under prolonged stress.
via flickr

The funny thing about being a visual thinker who has studied the musculo-skeletal system is that I now mentally picture the specific problem muscles, visualize the way my spine bends/twists abnormally and see how I can stretch away some tension.

The nature of my body’s holding patterns makes the whole long term pain relief thing tricky, but hey, at least I know how to give myself some relief over a few days’ time.

As I was lying in bed, TRYING to sleep, poking at a few reflexology points and hoping the pain killer I’d finally given in to taking would kick in, my anxious mind turned to pondering how even the way we think is classified into “normal” and “abnormal” categories.

It strikes me as strange that visual, or 3D, thinking is seen as unique in the broader population. In the worlds of autism and learning disabilities/differences, thinking in pictures seems to be rather common.

It seems odd that thinking in words seems to be the neurotypical default. Is that really true? Or is that something we’re taught in school, because the most popular teaching style has been lecture, rote and memorization for so long?

Maybe it’s just something that’s not talked about, because we automatically assume everyone else thinks in basically the same way.

I don’t know.

Right now, I’m just glad the pill is finally working. Maybe I can get some sleep tonight.

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