Need a Lift?


Ever had your car broken down on the highway, had to pull over, watch all the other cars zoom past you, life goes on full speed while you wait for help?

That’s how I’ve been feeling every day. Watching healthy people pass me by.  Live their lives without me, at a pace I cannot keep up with. It’s not anyone’s fault now. I can’t expect them to wait for me. They can’t expect me to keep up. And so I’m on a different track, like an alternate reality, life in the slow lane.

I suppose I’ve always had a taste of this, a bit of exclusion for this reason or that. But now the reasons have multiplied, yes like rabbits, why did my mind go there, and I’m finding that I’m not really included anywhere now. Exclusion has become the rule. I am a ghost in my own life.

And just like when stranded on the side of the road, I have no escape route. My body seems to have more than a simple flat tire, not that I would know how to change that myself anyway, but someone would, eventually. Nope. I have one of those issues, that when you lift the hood, multiple people stare and scratch their heads, going “hmm, not even sure how she made it this far, what a mess in here”.

And then I think, ok, what if I do find someone that figures it all out and can actually fix me? How am I supposed to get back into traffic? After all this time just drive back in without getting run over? I think not. but that seems lightyears away if not impossible, so whatever…

OK, enough with this bad highway metaphor. you get it. Just a thought I had.

What I’m trying to say is that I’m completely worn out by all the medical tests these doctors are ordering, and all of the abnormal results that prompt more tests and referrals to more doctors. At first, doctors were saying, I need to accept my new reality, lower my expectations, this is as good as it gets. They were not listening to my symptoms but painting their own conclusions about me. I kept complaining and using different words until I got sent for some tests. I think they were thinking nothing would come of it, but let’s satisfy the crazy lady.

But then wait. She actually has abnormal reflexes in her visual and auditory system? Could this explain the sensory overwhelm she has been describing for years now that has been dismissed as anxiety? YES

Do I have anxiety? yes, not denying that, but this is different, and please give me credit to know if I am anxious or if my nervous system is giving me a similar feeling due to an autonomic response. Well they do now.

Turns out I have ocularmotor issues, visual processing delays, saccadic dysmetria, hyperreactive auditory and visual stimuli with little suppression. I have loads of other cool words I could insert from my test results that I don’t feel like looking up right now. My world is literally overwhelming my nerves. So all of the wacko, wonky CNS stuff, like feeling lightheaded, sweaty, tightness in chest, nauseous – all very similar to anxiety – can be brought on by ordinary sounds, smells and sights. More intensity means I have more intense reactions, similar to motion sickness. Its like I have sensory input sickness. My vestibular system is overloaded and confused.

Okay. So I’ve had balance issues for nearly 30 years, maybe all of it wasn’t from the spinal cord injury, but made worse from it? And the migraines are a product of a worn out nervous system trying to make sense of the world. See isn’t this fun? I don’t blame those doctors for pushing me aside, what a freaking mess.

And I know this is not written clearly. Apparently thats something I have also lost, the ability to think, recall, and use thoughts in a proper sequence. I’ve been avoiding writing much due to all my issues and frustrations and irritating red underlines on the page to correct. But maybe I shouldn’t. Maybe I should trust that whoever reads this can put it back in the proper order and you all just may enjoy a daily puzzle, who knows. See I’m still snarky so I know I’m still here hidden in this mess of confused neurons.

Anyhow I met a new vestibular rehab therapist today that has dared to give me some hope. You all know how dangerous that can be, to be given hope once you have gotten to a stage of acceptance, only to have it yanked away again. I’m so afraid to walk that line, and yet I must if I am going to keep trying to battle this and get well, or as well as possible. I could really use some support so I’m not sitting on the side of the highway all alone.

5 thoughts on “Need a Lift?

  1. Hope is a heady drug! But without it the grinding work required to get past anything really bad is nearly impossible, or so I’ve found. So have a cup of hope or a lift on me, to use your metaphor. I don’t have your issues. You don’t have mine. But we share something, the need to keep whacking away — trying to be better than what we were handed. Being a warrior is valuable because giving up/in is just too easy and gets you nowhere. Try, for a while. Hopefully, the effort will yield good results. If not? walk away and know you tried, warrior that you are.

  2. I’m sorry they took so long to take you seriously but glad they finally have. I’m sorry what they found sounds so overwhelming but glad there’s someone who may be able to help. Life is messy. Some lives are messier than others. I hope and pray this is the start to truly feeling better. I do like what teacupofwater posted.

  3. Hugs, and double hugs,,,,,safely from my computer to yours. I so understand this. Consider the possibility you are in the realm of people that think in collage. My counselor was fascinated talking to me because there is so much going on in my head ALL THE TIME. I don’t have any fancy names for what happens inside my head. I am trying some experiments. One that I am planning to try that I learned from my daughter that had a brain tumor and is overwhelmed sometimes is using noise cancelling head phones. Another thing I did was after 3 years of only being able to be up for 20 minutes a day, I started slowly. Increasing activities a little at a time. The best advice I was given was to stop comparing myself to any one else. May be the metaphor of being on a twisting turning country lane where low speeds and frequent stops are the best choice for travel. The fast lane misses all the cool stuff like road daisies and sunsets. Hope is hard when brick walls spring up just where you see an opening. Hope sometimes is the feeling, I’ll try again tomorrow. Cheering for you.

    • I do have some similar coping techniques right now, I have not tried the headphones, but I do have noise filtering ear plugs that help in crowds and still allow me to hear some of it so I’m not oblivious. I find I don’t need to remove all stimuli, only reduce to a level I can handle. I need less input and more time. Like a slow old computer. You’re right. I’ve seen beautiful sunsets, lovely birds, and wildflowers in the slow lane that others never notice. Thanks for that 🙂

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