Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Feeling overwhelmed

I mentioned briefly in my first post that one of the reasons I was feeling the pull toward a more simple life was from the past two years of my youngest sons medical issues. If I told the whole story it would take way to long for anyone to want to read, so I'll try to condense as much as I can in order to explain why this contributes to my longing.

My youngest was adopted just over two years ago from China. He was a 'waiting child', meaning that he had some kind of special need. He was born with spina bifida. Since he has been home he has had two spinal cord detether surgeries, a shunt placed for hydrocephalus and a split tendon transfer on one ankle. These things, really haven't been an issue. It has been the previously undiagnosed things that have been much more difficult to adjust too. After he'd been home around 6 months he was diagnosed with Narcolepsy, one of the main hallmarks of that condition is excessive daytime sleepiness. He will fall asleep at anytime and any place. When his brain says sleep, he will, and there isn't much you can do to stop it. He also was diagnosed with a Sensory Processing Disorder. SPD can take on so many different symptoms in a child. One thing for him is auditory defensiveness. If you are in the grocery store and see a friend that you want to visit with, you can tune out all the other noises and focus on your friends words. For my son, every sound will go into his brain and be processed with the same importance. He will hear the squeaky cart going down the next aisle, the special sale on apples over the intercom, maybe even the buzz of the florescent lights as well as the words of the friend. For him, most public places have felt like he was at a rock concert for him. He has improved greatly, and even survived a trip to a busy pizza place with friends last night with only minimal frustration. For him, when there is too much sensory input, he will get overwhelmed and feel threatened then go into fight or flight mode. Needless to say, a lot of busy public places have been difficult. He has learned how to cope in many situations, but there are still some that we just avoid because it isn't worth the risk of a meltdown.

How does this contribute to my tug toward a simpler lifestyle? We chose to not do many things, and not go to many different places because we knew it would be overwhelming. You know what? Most of those busy things, I really haven't missed.

So, my question for myself is, if I can survive without those things in my life, what else can I survive without?


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