Saturday, November 2, 2013

How Does it Feel?

Sensory kids experience pure torture when they're sick. Being a sensational being myself, I can sympathize with my Gift SO much. Most people, however, cannot. Allergies are the pits, aren't they? Or a cold, upper respiratory or sinus infection- that pressure, headache, congestion, discomfort from boogers, the uncontrollable coughing, phlegm, post-nasal drip. Miserable, huh? Think about how much you HATE stomach bugs- the nausea, the putrid tastes and smells, the horrible out-of-control feelings and physical strain with vomiting. Awful, awful stuff, right?
   Now imagine that every single thing you feel is exponentially more intense and you physiologically lack impulse control. Tune in to the nuances of your symptoms and turn those up, too.

The slight ache you might feel in the roof of your mouth from sinus pressure is suddenly so intense you cannot fathom eating and you literally claw at your mouth trying to pull out your teeth because of the pain and pressure in your palate.

Hour-long panic attack at 1am over post-nasal drip
Post nasal drip that usually might make you cough and your throat scratchy suddenly makes you feel like you're drowning in thick phlegm and you're gasping for air, which makes you cough and literally choke on the post-nasal gunk.

Nasal congestion that might make you keep a box of tissues handy for frequent blowing instead adds to your
feeling of inability to breath. That ticklish sensation some get from a runny nose on the tiny hairs of the mucous membrane? Imagine they're vibrating with such force you rip at your nose trying to tear it from your face because that seems to be the only option for relief.

Consider the tightness and dull ache your chest may feel when a cough has set in, and the sharp pains you feel from a coughing jag. Again, multiply it exponentially and imagine the immense pain, and such intense tightness that you feel as if you're drowning in your own lungs.

The physical discomfort from all of that is intense, to say the least, and the addition of learned anxiety from having to cope with a seemingly hostile world full of painful stimuli makes for a literal living nightmare. Panic-inducing, is what it is. When you take your child out despite the runny nose 'it's nothing, really' is a week-long nightmare for a sensory kid who gets your germs, not just a stop at the grocery for Kleenex. Sensory issues are not a joke, an excuse for a misbehaving child or bad parenting. It is a legitimate neurological issue that affects every single sense in every way.