Too much information? It gets worse, read on …
You know I’m a sensitive guy. I worry about people. I worry about whether or not they need help with something that they’re not admitting to. I worry that they need something I could provide, but they’re afraid to ask. I worry, I worry a lot.
But I’m also sensitive to irritants. No, I’m not talking about people who suffer from delusions of normalcy, I worry about them more than I’m irritated by them. I’m talking about labels in clothes and perfume and iron-on graphics on shirts and cheap socks that twist in odd ways. These are the things that irritate me. These are the things I’m sensitive to.
For years, pre-diagnosis, I wore underwear inside out, with the label against my jeans. I don’t know when I started, I don’t remember not doing it. Well, I remember forgetting, putting my underwear on right side out and constantly scratching my lower back, squirming, being uncomfortable.
I remember finding underwear with the label printed right on the material, not on a piece of sandpaper. I still remember trying to restrain myself from celebrating the feeling of excited anticipation as I cashed out. Sigh. Sad, I know.
I also remember having to hold my breath as I entered big box stores in malls. They put their perfume department at the entrances. Do they still do that? I haven’t been for a while, I might go if that’s been changed. Nah, better not. I’m still an impulsive shopper.
I never thought much about my sensitivity to perfume, until I was diagnosed. It makes my eyes itch, makes my throat tighten, makes my head ache. But I don’t break out, don’t go into shock, don’t suffer anaphylaxis, I just suffer.
I get one haircut a year. Around the first of June I get my head shaved as a fundraiser for Cancer research. I joke with people that I’m cheap, that I’ve found a way to get my haircut and make everybody else pay for it. In truth, I sponsor myself for more than the price of a haircut. But the once a year thing is great for me. I hated getting my hair cut as a child, when having long hair came into vogue I signed up willingly. It wasn’t a political statement, it was a comfort statement. Getting my hair cut meant that for two or three days I’d be uncomfortable, I don’t know what caused the itching, it still happens when I get my head shaved. My neck, shoulders and back feel like they’re covered in clippings. I’ll shower several times, but time is the only real cure.
My eyebrows are a little unruly … like small bushes. I could trim them into the shape of squirrels, but I just trim them. I don’t care whether they’re bushy, but they tend to send out one or two hairs that get to the two inch length, kink, and poke me in the eye lid. I start to swipe at them, try to straighten them, even to pull them out with my fingers. Not succeeding is frustrating, succeeding is painful.
And then there’s the moustache, it also has learned the trick of the kinked whisker. At some point in my week, it will aspire to place the jagged end of one whisker against the bottom of, or even inside my nose. Arrrggghhh!
And lastly, here on this little list, is my T-shirt necks. Besides tearing out labels, I often have to cut the neck open in the front. If I don’t, they feel like a dog collar that’s too tight.
Okay, I’m sure that some of these things would bother anybody, but I don’t see others clawing at their waistbands, grinding their noses on their forearms or yanking two inch long hairs out of their unibrow, with grimaces of pain. Well not as frequently as I do.
Still, maybe it isn’t my ADHD, maybe I’m just overreacting.
… but it sure is distracting, and that’s definitely an ADHD issue …
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Last reviewed: 23 Nov 2012