Now that I have a diagnosis, a support worker and I’m seeing a clinical psychologist every couple of months, I might make some progress this time.
I had to ring myself, after my support worker encouraged me to try when I met her last Thursday. I got part of the way through the phone call before I gave up and handed over to mum. I just couldn’t hear what the woman was saying down the phone.
I asked her to repeat a question twice. She didn’t have a difficult accent, the phone volume and reception was fine, it’s just that my brain couldn’t process what was being said. The words were scrambled, and I could not understand a thing. It’s like I know they’re speaking but the words become noise with no meaning.
My sensory processing gets ballsed up when I get anxious, or when I’m doing something else, or there’s a lot going on around me. I don’t have a diagnosis of sensory processing disorder but I think it’s a possibility given my hearing problems aren’t physiological in the sense that I have any sort of deafness. If I’m not focused on you, I can’t hear you. Sometimes I have to close my eyes to hear things properly. If I’m reading, the writing in front of me is clear, everything around me is a blur, as though I wasn’t wearing my glasses.
Crossing the road is a joy. Not. I can’t always see and hear enough to recognise danger, I have to look around for longer to check. It feels exaggerated but it’s the only safe way for me to cross a road on my own. It’s easier if I’m with someone else who can act as an extra pair of eyes and ears for me, because I’m only taking in a small part of the environment.
I get overwhelmed by everything. I have walked down the street with my eyes closed at times to try to make sense of things, but that’s dangerous even with my stick, and I can only do it for a few yards. It does make the sounds clearer. I can’t stand going to busy places without my headphones, I have my eyes partly closed most of the time outside to block out light.
I need to block out the other people around me, their noise and presence is overpowering. Unfortunately, some people don’t want to respect my need for separation. I get people pushing me because I’m not walking fast enough or I’m in their way, and I haven’t responded to them trying to boss me about.
I’m wearing headphones for a reason, dimwits!
Sorry, I have enough problems leaving the house without having to deal with people who don’t respect my bubble.
So, back to PIP applications. This is going to be fun. This time I’m going to get help with the form from Centre4 in Grimsby. They, apparently, know how to answer the questions properly. My support worker recommended them but I already knew about them. My support worker has been to a few assessments with me clients so she has more experience with these things, so hopefully she’ll be able to come with me too.