Sensory overload...


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Most of the people I am around in 3-d are loud, very animated and Playful. (can be read as obnoxious. this is particularly true of my cousin, the one i spoke of in my blog. Along with the characteristics I just mentioned he talks fast--very fast. Pre-stroke I could only tolerate him in small doses but post-stroke he overwhelms me almost from the first sentence. Its almost painful, and certainly disorienting. Does anyone else have similar problems with strong personalities beyond minor annoyance?

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Jamie, I dont have anyone like that around me but parties with loud music, sirens and car horns really irritate me. I have a very sensitive smoke alarm and it drives me nuts when I burn the toasts. It does get better so now Im not sure if its because of the stroke or menopause. Getting old is no party either.

 

mc

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I can't take music or anything really that involves language or sound unless it is slow and soft and even that is hard after a while. That is so uncharacteristic of me. It has gotten so bad I constantly fight the overwhelming urge to isolate/withdraw.

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Jamie,

Most survivors become more aware of this sensitivity around the holidays when we begin socializing more and shopping in crowded noisy stores. Another thing you may notice as the holiday season surrounds you is that you may have sensitivity to light as well.

Sound and light sensitivity are both very common issues to most survivors so you are definitely not alone.

 

There's really no simple fix nor would any of us likely choose to become a recluse to avoid it all. Most of us try to avoid highly stimulating situations, do lots of shopping on line, enjoy the virtual holiday parties here in chat.

 

Most importantly never put extra pressure on yourself by feeling you need to make excuses for who you are now or feel you need to explain, simply remove yourself as you would if you had to go to the ladies' room. ~ Hit the ladies' room as a ruse if you need to, then resurface elsewhere quieter or hit the door and make a break from there.

 

(((((((hugs))))))

 

Maria

 

 

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Thanks Maria. Those are good suggestions and I will try them out. Making excuses or trying to explain myself has been something i do a lot of. thanks for saying that. i really need to remember that.

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Jamie,

Keep in mind you don't need to explain why you're not the life of the party or jovial anymore. The only expectations you need to live up to are your own. You shouldn't need like you need to be entertaining to be part of the crowd, if they're so much fun, they shouldn't need you to entertain them. If they do, they're the duds, not you.

 

Just be yourself however you are now, I'd bet everyone just loves having you around.

 

Maria

xo

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lIKE SO MANY i STRUGGLE W/ BIG SOCIAL EVENTS TOO ... I go to lunch once a month with 4 fellow retired teachers/friends I worked with for 36 years. I enjoy it the first hour or hour .5 ...but then I start getting tired...Love them all, but too much talking puts me on overload. Plus when I'm in a restaurant with them I walk in like a freadAZOID cuz my foor /leg tightens up and I feel tight ALL over. I feel like they kinda watch me thinking I'll fall or to see if I'm improvimng or just out of concern....? It's out of kindness, I know, but it must make my little psychey go nutso, cuz I just can't relax and swing my leg and drop my foot naturally when I feel like they watch me walk..... It's all IN me why I do this.....don't like it..but whatever..........

ya know? ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh life post stroke. :head_hurts: :blah_blah:

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I hope you feel much better after awhile perhaps your body is just plain tired and rest is very much needed right about now for the brain to refocus. :cocktail: Don't put off for tomorrow what you can do today.

Fred!

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Jaime: I remember Bruce's first year of recovery. He was extremely sensitive to touch. I think it put his senses into overload and he did not quite know what that was only that it was annoying and frightening. It has resolved now.

 

I also remember his Neuro telling me he was to avoid loud, continuous noises: like vaccuum, lawn mowers. But why then did he keep the TV volume on 20? Anyway, I followed orders and again it is resolving. He still starts at quick or sharp sounds. His right eye is extremely sensitive to light, but I keep his sunglasses with me all the time. Again the Doctor told me to do this.

 

I have trouble with some of his over-zealous friends, but my advantage is I can leave. They are here, afterall to see him and he loves their company.

 

Try to keep those visits short as best you can. I know it is tough with family especially if they are used to coming and going and staying long times. In your case, you also have to be extremely careful of the rough handling he is capable of. Maybe you could set up a quiet room in the house that is your retreat and explain that you need quiet down-time and just go. I am hoping he might respect that.

 

The over stimulation is not healthy for you. I do hope you can find some relief while you are still healing. Best, Debbie

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When I know that I'm going to be in a situation where it is going to be noisy I take along my mp3 player with the little bud earphones. I will put the earphones in my ears and not turn it on. The little earphones work like ear plugs taking the edge off the loud noise and this seems to help. Folks may look at you a little odd at first but when they see you participating in the conversation, they will get to where they don't notice and I am able to tolerate staying longer. This also helps when the grandchildren come over.

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jamie,alot of stroke survciver suffer from that if it is added stimulie you will start to get stress out it is usually hard for stroke surviver to process new information and it usually will end by just shutting down and not knowing what you should do also it is a good indication of you just being tired and need some sleep

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Grandchildren! Lordy! Mine are 3 and 5 and I just spent the weekend with them. Talk about exhausted. Ear plugs sound great right about now. :laughbounce:

They are just at the age that even if you didn`t have a stroke, they can be very tiring . It does get better with time. Longer you are post the less you tire so easily plus the grandkids grow up, too fast so they dont seek constant attention.

 

mc

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Jeff had his stroke on Oct. 31, 2010 so not quite a year ago....a couple of weeks ago, me not thinking and trying to put together an outing that was "normal" decided we would take the grandchildren to the state fair......can you say BIG MISTAKE....OMG!:head_hurts:

 

We had taken his power chair to make it easier "NOT" Bless his heart, he was shaking by the time we left and I must say in a VERY cranky mood...he told me later it was like he was in a small room with everyone shouting different orders at him....I felt really bad but now know to think things through a little better.....

 

Caretaker in Training....Tammy

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we all learn by trying. like Thomas Edison said when trying to invent the light bulb and was asked about his failures, "I didn't fail 1000 times-- I just learned 999 ways that did not work". It feels like that to me too. good description.

 

Good for you for trying!

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it's a few years since my last stoke and I still get sensitive probs and especially around loud people

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There seem to be a lot of us who deal with this issue. I come from a very big, loud, chaotic family, and I married into just as big loud and chaotic a family. I attend a church full of big, loud personalities, and I have 3 grown, loud and chaotic children. Being touched, trying to deal with more than 1 friend or realative at a time, it still seems like just too much for me to handle. But I try. When I've taken all I can for an afternoon/evening, I simply excuse myself and tell everyone I need to go take a little nap. Usually, when I get back up, I'm able to deal with the tornado that is my family again, at least for another short while.

 

I don't bother trying to excuse or explain myself. Sam sometimes tries to do it for me, but we have very quickly penned the term "it's a stroke thing." My family is satisified with that and let me do whatever I feel I need to do, uninterrupted. They all know that when I am ready to be social again, I will be back.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've noticed that direct sunlight makes me blind. I cannot see a frekking thing, except the light when the sun is in front of me. It makes lipreading impossible, since I can't see the person. The sun's light overpowers everything. Wearing a cap along with the sunlight helps, even though I will end up with hat-hair.

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I'm often exhausted the day after a lot of visual or auditory stimulation. I've been to a few concerts in the 22 months post stroke and between the crowds, the stress of getting to seats and then the lights and sound...it's too much for me after a while. I often nod off/shut down in my seat and do a kind of cat nap. I find I do this at movies now too. Oh, and the planetarium shows, I doze off 1/2 way through. Luckily I don't snore... but I'm missing a lot of what I'd like to see. ah well.. I keep going in hopes of building up my tolerance to it. Sunlight in my eyes, is bad and it's only recently that I can manage to walk if it's windy. Previously, if my hair blew in my face it was so distracting that I couldn't focus on moving. Now, I don't like it but I can keep moving. I remember in the acute phase being distracted by the rocks in the beds along the sidewalk going into to the outpatient rehab building. I suppose my brain was trying it's best to get a picture and find patterns again. My husband has to warn me if he is going to open a canned beverage. The noise is awful to me and I feel very irritated. All this just adds to my eccentric charms... yeah... that's it... french_cig_nomo.gif

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:You-Rock:

I've noticed that direct sunlight makes me blind. I cannot see a frekking thing, except the light when the sun is in front of me. It makes lipreading impossible, since I can't see the person. The sun's light overpowers everything. Wearing a cap along with the sunlight helps, even though I will end up with hat-hair.

 

Hat hair is the least of my worries! My friend is beautiful, blonde and has a great sense of humor. She's my age and still looks like a movie star. I was on my front porch one morning with my coffee when the sun was bright and shining directly in my face. I 'saw her' walking her little dog when I shouted to her--'G'morning Sexy Girl!'--It wasn't her! It was the new blonde lady who had just moved in on the other side of the street.

 

On the upside of this, it's a great way to make friends! :dribble: I was mortified but she said I made her day.

 

Jamie

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Jamie,

 

bright sunlight bothers me especially my right eye--but not as much 15 months post-stroke as right after the stroke. And what can I say about loud noises, crowds, parties, etc. I try to explain to my hubby, but he nods, says he knows and goes right on planning our hosting a big noisy party, etc. He just doesn't get it. Well I have learned to deal with most of it, but it will wear you out. Take those breaks and always know you are fine and able to adapt and learn where others cannot make any changes. I think that shows a lack of understanding and inflexibility on their part. Or maybe a fear of thinking that you have lingering effects from your stroke.

 

Bev

 

 

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Jamie,

 

bright sunlight bothers me especially my right eye--but not as much 15 months post-stroke as right after the stroke. And what can I say about loud noises, crowds, parties, etc. I try to explain to my hubby, but he nods, says he knows and goes right on planning our hosting a big noisy party, etc. He just doesn't get it. Well I have learned to deal with most of it, but it will wear you out. Take those breaks and always know you are fine and able to adapt and learn where others cannot make any changes. I think that shows a lack of understanding and inflexibility on their part. Or maybe a fear of thinking that you have lingering effects from your stroke.

 

Bev

 

 

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Jamie,

 

I agree with everyone else! I get in a crowd and I can't stand the noise of the croud either. Some times Light bothers me to, but my glasses change colors when I'm out in the hot weather, or when I'm out in the sun.

 

Bruce Schwentker

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Hi Jamie,

 

I'm a 7 year survivor and at this point I no longer make excuses for anything, I'm just very honest. I noticed that after an outing or two during the week, say a party and then a date on the weekend, I'm absolutely exhausted. I feel like I have people-lag, you know, like jetlag. LOL - I have physical therapy twice a week, play cards twice a week, exercise 3 times a week, see my doctor once a month, not to mention just doing everyday chores like cooking, washing, etc., etc.,. I developed a mild case of claustrophobia after my stroke. My doctor said it was quite common to develop phobias after a stroke. So, I also noticed I don't like crowds because they make me feel closed in. A lot of the time, well-intentioned friends don't understand that I just don't want to go to a crowded concert or the exhaustion you may sometimes feel even if you haven't done anything. I'm happy with my life though and note that all of us continue to improve no matter how slowly we still progress. :Clap-Hands:

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