I wanted to write an update on my bloodwork. I had blood drawn over a week ago, but I still haven’t gotten a call about the results, good or bad. (Of course, I’m thinking bad because that’s just the way I roll.) I meant to call today, but I got busy at work, so it’ll have to wait until tomorrow. In the meantime, I thought I’d tell you a little bit more about my world and the main man in it.
One of the best things about my job is that I learn new things all the time. When I first started this job, nearly four years ago, I knew virtually nothing about sensory processing, but it has since become such a huge part of my daily work (and my caseload), that I see it everywhere now.
Basically, the idea is that not everyone processes sensory information from the outside world in the same way. Some kids cringe at the lightest touch, while at the same time bumping into walls and crashing into furniture, either because they like the way it feels or because it helps them figure out where their bodies are in space. When I told Hubby about this, he did some of his own research and diagnosed himself. He’s one of my tactilely-defensive, sensory-seeking kids, all grown up.
In Hubby, this manifests itself in myriad ways. He hates certain textures, especially in materials that are used in linings. Finding a laptop bag that has a lining he can stand to touch is an all-day shopping ordeal. The tags in his shirts and seams in his socks bother him. Some of my clothes bother him, and he won’t touch me if I’m wearing them (a windbreaker, for example). Once we stayed at a hotel with its own spa and decided to get massages. An hour later, I was blissfully relaxed, and he was miserable and on-edge, especially because the massage involved someone touching his feet. He doesn’t like lotions or anything that might “dirt” his hands.
The flip side is that he will squeeze me till I feel like my bones will shatter. He constantly (accidentally) hurts me with his love, seemingly unaware of his own strength. And he wants me to squeeze his hand or give him hugs as hard as I can (even then, it’s not enough). If anyone saw the movie Temple Grandin on HBO–that hugging machine? He would love that.
Don’t get me wrong–he’s a fully functioning adult, a contributing member of society. He’s not a total freak. And we all have our own sensory issues. I constantly shake my foot. Drives Hubby nuts. It’s just something I’ve always done, and I think it helps me maintain a certain level of attention. Also, I can’t stand the texture of watermelon. Some people have to chew gum or have something in their mouth all the time. Some people can’t tune out certain sounds. The ticking of a clock can be all-consuming. We all have our own little quirks. Hubby’s just stand out to me because I live with them.
Of course, as an adult, he’s already learned to deal with his sensory preferences. I worry that our kids will be little sensory messes that we’ll have to figure out how to calm down. But if that’s the price we pay to have his genetic children, I’ll happily put my kids on a sensory diet.