sensory overload and flare????

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by BethM, Nov 1, 2002.

  1. BethM

    BethM New Member

    I had dinner last night with a friend at the Mall so we could watch the little trick or treaters as they shuffled from store to store collecting their goodies. I met her there directly after work. There was also a rock and roll band playing loudly, and my friend, much as I enjoy her company, is a non-stop, fast talker. After we ate and chatted (mostly I listened!) we wandered the mall a bit, until I reached my tolerance limit for crowds. By the time I got to my car I was shaking from the overload, had trouble focusing my eyes, and was exhausted. I had taken most of dinner home with me, as I cannot eat in that sort of chaos. Driving home was a challenge, especially navigating the flares and flashing lights of an bad accident scene. The lights confused me, and I just kept praying, "please just get me home!!". I did get home ok, and it was wonderful to just be in my calm and quiet home. Today I am flaring, and tired, and way too irritable to be dealing with teenagers. But, I am here anyway.

    So, does sensory overload do this to others also? Or am I truly strange? Or both??? *g* (if I can still smile, I'll be ok. It's Friday. I may live.)

    Thanks for any responses!

    Peace,
    Beth.
  2. BethM

    BethM New Member

    I had dinner last night with a friend at the Mall so we could watch the little trick or treaters as they shuffled from store to store collecting their goodies. I met her there directly after work. There was also a rock and roll band playing loudly, and my friend, much as I enjoy her company, is a non-stop, fast talker. After we ate and chatted (mostly I listened!) we wandered the mall a bit, until I reached my tolerance limit for crowds. By the time I got to my car I was shaking from the overload, had trouble focusing my eyes, and was exhausted. I had taken most of dinner home with me, as I cannot eat in that sort of chaos. Driving home was a challenge, especially navigating the flares and flashing lights of an bad accident scene. The lights confused me, and I just kept praying, "please just get me home!!". I did get home ok, and it was wonderful to just be in my calm and quiet home. Today I am flaring, and tired, and way too irritable to be dealing with teenagers. But, I am here anyway.

    So, does sensory overload do this to others also? Or am I truly strange? Or both??? *g* (if I can still smile, I'll be ok. It's Friday. I may live.)

    Thanks for any responses!

    Peace,
    Beth.
  3. griswoldgirl

    griswoldgirl New Member

    I have been like that for a month or so now, since my knee surgery has put me in a flare. it is weird even things like phone ringing and kids talking at the same time can get to me.

    It is like my body teceives these overloads as pain. It hurts. I have spent a lot of time sleeping and trying to remain calm and avoid situations that exasberate it.

    Like you if I get a very big overload such as you did last night--I am so tired for sometimes 3-4 days.

    The good thing is that it passes adventually. I have gotten to the other side when I was feeling better.

    hang in there

    cathy
  4. sb439

    sb439 New Member

    This used to happen to me many times, until I just started leaving the scene when I could feel this orgy of noise closing in on me. (And after I had read the article by Cheney in which he suggests that your brain cells actually start dying when sensory overload gets too bad, and I want to keep those little things in my head alive.)
    I worry about your driving when badly affected by the sensory overload - please take care!!!)
    Susanne
  5. BethM

    BethM New Member

    I worried about my driving, too, last night, but I had to get home. That was a good reminder, why I avoid chaos as much as possible! I've been turning down offers to go visit 'haunted houses' for Halloween. Not my cup of tea anymore. I told everyone I'd hold their coats for them and wait outside!

    It's good not to be all alone with these weird symptoms and reactions.

    Peace,
    Beth.
  6. ssMarilyn

    ssMarilyn New Member

    I used to suffer from this to the point where I thought I was doomed for life and was turning into a wacko! Now I'm almost completely recovered and back to living a normal life. I really believe that our nervous systems need to heal and re-generate. It's alot of work, but worth it to get back to feeling like an average human being again. Worked for me!

    Marilyn :)
  7. rosella

    rosella New Member

    This is one of the undeniable effects of FM. Lights, crowds & noise are not tolerated well by FM sufferers. Basically, get to know your limit& act accordingly.
  8. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    That sounded like a real ordeal for you. Try to avoid that much confusion at one time in the future!

    Lunch with your friend in a quiet place would have been so much less stressful. I don't even turn the lights on during the Trick or Treet time here. Its just too much to deal with anymore.

    I eat in quiet places, go to the Mall during off hours (avoid the crowds and the teenagers), and I shop for groceries during the middle of the day, no children and no rushing Mom's, and shorter lines.

    The traffic is less during those times too.

    HOpe you are feeling better soon.

    Boy your home sure must have looked good to you when you got home! I always feel that way when I get home from any outing.

    Shalom, Shirl

  9. Cindi

    Cindi New Member

    I, too, suffer from sensory overload! Just having the TV too loud, and other noise within my house can get overwhelming for me. As soon as my family goes to school and work, I turn off everything, and enjoy the peaceful quiet!!
    I have turned into somewhat of a "recluse' at times. Sometimes anticipating a situation that I know may be too much for me, is reason enough to stay home! I try to pick and choose what's important to me, and may even leave early from an event, if necessary.

    Anyway, in answer to your question...you're NOT strange...it's "everyone else" that is!!!

    Here's to a quiet, flare-free weekend!

    Hugs-
    Cindi
  10. karen2002

    karen2002 New Member

    Some days I feel like I am the Queen of Neurosis. I am sure that supermarkets and discount stores are actually purgatory, and a sampling of what hell must entail.
    Trying to carry on a conversation in a noisy restaurant, compares to being put in the spin cycle of my washing machine. My teenagers try to converse with me with their tv and a stereo blaring, the dog is barking, the ceiling fan whirring, and hubby is crinkling a potato chip sack--my gawd! it doesn't take that long to find a chip!!! I cover my ears and run for a quiet stress free zone.
    I actually drove for the first time in 6 months--a week ago. My elderly mother in law was my passenger. She commented on the car not running so well. If she only knew--it was my leg shaking so hard, depressing and letting up on the gas peddle.
  11. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    Our nervous systems need less stimulation than normals so we can recover and have enough energy left over for really important events. I arrange my life just like she mentioned in her post now. Some days, even the noise my husband's hand makes when he pats the dog feels like someone is dragging fingernails down a blackboard to me.
    When we socialize, it is during "off" hours. This often means meeting people at a restaurant for a late lunch for them, which is an early dinner for us. We turn down a lot of things we'd otherwise want to do because people insist on going to the most popular place, and at 7 pm on Saturday night. The last time I tried that, I had a panic attack from all the noise in the place. The time before that, my blood pressure went up so high my nose started bleeding right at the table. No more.
    A tip for grocery shopping: shop at the same store all the time and get to know where everything is. Make a list that runs from one end of the store to the other with no double-backs. That way you zip across the store and you don't have to look through all those displays to find things. About once a year when they rearrange the whole store, I get so dizzy looking for things that I have to hang on to the cart to keep from losing my balance.
    I have seen it posted here than Klonopin can help with this sensory overload. I can't take it, but maybe you can. The SSRI drugs are supposed to help this too, esp. Effexor, but I won't take those for other reasons (see article by Dr. Cheney in our library here about what they do to the brain).A small dose of Xanax helps me when I absolutely have to cope with overload.
    Good luck in figuring out your own best way to deal with this,
    Klutzo
  12. lease79

    lease79 New Member

    I have always had this but at the moment it is so bad :(
    About 5 months ago I spent a night sitting up in a hospital holding a friends infant baby before he had an op, so she could get some sleep.
    Instead of sleeping the next day when I could of, I went shopping with Jason & basically passed out :(
    Since then I can barely go outside as I am so light, sound, touch sensitive that I feel like the world is going to EAT ME!
    I can't go into shopping centres at all, cause bright lights noise & tracking with my eyes makes me feel SOOOO spaced out & dizzy. I get disorientated like I'm in a dream & then end up with a migraine :(
    Not fun....
    I am 23 & I had problems with this once before when I was about 15, but not this bad.
    I am pregnant, but once this bub is here I am seriously going to have to be put on something for the neuro probs I have.
    My Doc agrees & was going to put me on something new in Australia the week I found out I was pg again *sigh*
    Oh well, must battle on!

    Lease
  13. Joannie

    Joannie New Member

    Hi Beth,
    You are sooo not alone here. I am shocked though because I thought I was the only one that went through this. I truly thought I was going crazy or something. I get so uptight getting the children off to school that I pray for the bus just to come. And after school and when the Hubby and all of them are home it is just draining. Too much activity going on. I can't keep up and it is sometime just too much of an overload that I want to crawl up in bed with ear plugs. I am really glad that you did this post. At least now I know I am not alone in this and I am not going crazy from this DD. I get so edgy that I want to run away from home. Can't stand to have get togethers much anymore as we always were having friends and family over before but I just get so uptight with all the noise that I can't even consentrate on conversation. The next day I feel hung over and achy without touching any alcohol. It is really strange.
    Thanks for the post and I hope you are feeling better.
    God bless.
    Joannie
  14. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Go to the library and read Dr. Paul Cheney's article on Klonopin. It is one of the best descriptions of what goes on in our brains to produce sensory overload. It also explains why we can't sleep and have anxiety. Whether anyone decided to add Klonopin to his or her regimen is between patient and doctor, but I started taking Klonopin and it has helped me to get quality sleep, it has gotten rid of my anxiety and panic attacks, and it has helped with sensory overload greatly. I keep 1/4 tablets in my purse and slip one under my tongue so I can tolerate noisy places. I do avoid crowds though. Have never liked them.

    Love, Mikie
  15. fibolady

    fibolady New Member

    this is one of the reasons i feel my spouse and i are separating. along with all the other fms problems he refuses to acknowledge. it just makes me so mad that someone you have share your life with for 2 decades finds it too much trouble to understand that the cigar smoke, tv loud, dark barking, etc. bother me so much it can trigger a flare. my awful mil (mother in law) wouldn't even stop wearing her gads of perfume to my house and stormed out. I had a migraine for a week from this episode.

    yesterday the grocery store pc system, lady kept coming on screaming about this and that specials, even others shopping where complaining. i could not even think straight, let alone choose my products. i need ear plugs and a closepin for my nose!

    i gave up all scented things (can tolerate a cinnamon candle sometimes) cleaners and washing detergent (use non pertroleum better for the environment too) never wore perfume anyway and any scented lotions, etc. i still have a lot to get "rid" of but maybe the "spouse" will be the best one yet.

    warm regards, fibolady

    p.s. i do take klonopin, and it helps but not a "cureall" by any means and hope to take it temporary until i can straighten everything out.
  16. BethM

    BethM New Member

    Thank you all for your input, stories, and suggestions. Actually, I should've known better than to go somewhere very noisy. It's kinda like eating doughnuts for me. I have to eat one once in awhile to remind myself just how sick they make me feel.

    I am feeling much better, thanks. It took until this morning to feel human again. I seem to recover pretty quickly, and I think that is in large part to the fact that I've been cleaning up my diet by decreasing sugar, increasing fruits and vegies, and being more diligent with my vitamin taking. I just bought 5-HTP, plan to try it tonight. It works to increase serotonin levels, and helps with sleep. I hope it works. (gosh, I suppose this should be a new post, hmmm?)

    Such a great group here, thank you for being here.

    Peace,
    Beth
  17. Bigfoot

    Bigfoot New Member

    I don't handle things well that are loud either. It can be kids, the TV, phones, a bouncing ball, a loud toy, alarm clocks or even the tone of certain people's voices. Telephones and alarm clocks get me flared up in a hurry. Unfortunately, I haven't had to worry about alarm clocks for a while because I hardly sleep. Good luck and I hope you feel better soon.