Monday, September 10, 2012

With Experience Comes...Acceptance

Today I wave the white flag.  I toss in the towel.  I concede, I come to the final realization that I need to accept a certain truth, at least as it currently stands.  I know I said last week that I really didn't have too much to blog about, no issues to discuss, etc., but yesterday I realized that I need to revisit a topic I've brought up several times before.

Audio sensitivity.

Ooooh, scaaaaary...

Haha, actually, I didn't mean to make it sound like such a huge deal, because in the grand scheme of things, it really isn't.  I just think that it's now time to stop thinking that having an aide, like noise-muffling headphones for Samantha, is not perpetuating a behavior, that if she's exposed to situations enough she'll get over it.  I just can't put her through it anymore. 

Not like we are in those kinds of environments all that often, but knowing that we won't have issues would be comforting, for all of us.  Especially Samantha, of course.  Sheesh, even in public restrooms with loud flushers and jet-engine hand dryers! 

Better safe than sorry.

So here's the deal.  Friday night and through to Saturday morning, Samantha was sick with a stomach virus of some sort.  (She tested positive for strep on Saturday morning, but that's nothing new.  I suspect she's a carrier, so we may need to address that at some point in the not-too-distant future.)  Sadly, we had to scuttle our plans of spending the weekend with my parents, which was a real disappointment - we were both looking forward to it.  Sunday she was feeling back to her old self again, so on the spur of the moment, I ordered tickets to the circus, which happened to be on its last day in a location less than a mile from our house.  Wow!  How much more convenient could it have possibly been?  I was actually really excited at the thought of having something so fun and random for Samantha to do, knowing she'd love it.  She'd been to the circus before, when she was 3, and enjoyed parts of it before falling asleep in my arms. 

True to our usual situation, we had a couple of things going against us - Sammi was getting over being sick, and she had been super cranky and whiny all morning.  HELLOOOOOO, MOMMY...RED FLAGS!!!!!!! 

When we walked onto the property, I saw that they were giving elephant rides, something I've never done, but thought might be an opportunity too good to pass up.  I mean, when, ever, would we likely get that chance again?  I asked her if she wanted to do it, and she surprised me by saying yes.  Then I tried to talk her out of it, worried that she'd balk at the last second and we'd be out $16.  But no, she was insistent.  And she surprised me even more by hopping up on the elephant's back, uncomplaining.  The mother of the children sitting in front of us kindly texted me the photo below, taken from her phone.  Can someone please remind me what we did before camera phones and text messaging?

Sammi was a little bit nonplus about it afterwards, but hey, she did it, right?  And the awkward, uncomfortable 3 minute ride was well-worth the money, for sure!
After that, and the purchase of two hot dogs for us for lunch (both of which I, regretfully, ended up eating myself), we went into the tent.  I won't go on about the cheap seats we were in, but I will say an upgrade would have been worth it, unless you actually like sitting behind everything.  Looking out at all the empty seats in front of the action.  And cheap seats, when you add all the online purchase fees, are still not very cheap.  And considering we were only there for half an hour, I'm glad I didn't upgrade.  Thankfully, children were free.  :-)
Yes, I said half an hour.  And yes, Samantha screamed and cried pretty much the whole time, terrified of the noise from the amplified voice of the Ringmaster over the loudspeakers.  I had even had the presence of mind to grab my winter earmuffs as we ran out the door earlier, and with those on her ears, and her hands insistently pressing my hands over her earmuffs, over her ears, the sound was still too intense.  She quieted down during the tiger act, but her peace was short-lived. 
Then we left, and went to the library.
I felt horrible for her, horrible that I had not yet gotten noise-muffling headphones, as others had recommended on occasions too numerous to recount.  She gave me a long hug outside, and said she was sorry she was scared.  Once again, it broke my heart as I insisted that she had absolutely no reason to apologize, that it was I that was sorry she was so scared.  I promised her we'd get her some headphones to make things quiet, and that made her happy.  But I wasn't emotionally wrecked this time as I was on the occasion I posted about a while back (here and here), I was more prepared, more reflective, more accepting, more ready to do something about it
I understand from many other parents of older children that our kids will usually outgrow this.  My fingers are crossed...I'm counting on you guys to be right about it!! 
But I feel that I needed to have this experience with her.  This wake-up call.  I don't think she has any other sensory issues, other than this auditory sensitivity, and for that I am grateful.  This is an easy one to get around.  I've lost the link to the headphones that someone had sent to me a while back.  I know a quick Google search should turn it up easily, but if any of you have ones that you've seen or that you use and like, can you please include the link in your comment? 


Rochelle said...

Sorry she was sick, glad she is better. Hoping the headphones do the trick!

Anonymous said...

Hello! I don't have the link but would love to have it. Ethan just recently has been terrified of the flushing of toilets in public bathrooms and the hand dryers so I soooo related to that post. We havent seen it any where else yet but want to be ready for it if we do.

If you get the link do you mind forwarding it to me.

Thanks Nicole

Becca said...

I just ordered these in pink:

They're only $11.76 plus $8-something for shipping. Fingers crossed!

Beth said...

I think it's not so much scary as it is physically painful. It makes sense to relieve pain--absolutely not a failure on anyone's part.
I ended up ordering several pairs/sizes to see how they fit and how much sound could get through.
The rating level that worked for Hannah is 21. Above that it is virtually silent for her (and me).

Lisa said...

I need to do the same thing. Let me know how this brand works out for you.

Anna Theurer said...

Oh sweet Sammi. I hope that these headphones work.

Jess said...

Hi there,

You started following my blog a few months ago and I recently listed it as invitation only with nobody on that list. I don't know if that means you can see those posts now or not.


I have a different blog that I wanted to invite you to follow instead:

This blog is open to all readers.

Thank you!

Anna said...

Reading this post. Really. Sobbing like a baby. I am So glad to have other bloggers to address these things, that don't sound like that big of a deal. but when you take everything and roll it up into a pretty little package called Sammi, or Grace or.... It is big. I am not sure how parents do it. I am tired and I just want my old normal back. It would be one thing if it was ONE thing. But this sensitivity really can wreak havock on just going to the bathroom in public. I am speaking of the automatic flushing toilets, jet streamed hand blow dryers?! Just let me flush the toilet and use a paper towel think you very much. Can I just say, "epilepsy sucks" hope you don't mind, I needed to get that off my chest.

Wren said...

I'm telling you her and Landon could be twins...he hates anything that makes a loud noise! It has gotten a little better over the last year - he no longer cries if he's outside and daddy turns on the lawn mower! I remember walking through Kohl's parking lot one time when he was about 2 and a car with a loud exhaust drove past us and he was hysterical for 10min! Seems to be his only sensory issue as well and we have learned to live with it and yes, we do have noise blocking ear phones for any loud events we take him to...and they help a lot!

Monique said...

My four year old son has this problem too. Lately it has been bad. We were at our HS football game on Friday night and for the first half of the game, he had to cover his ears for the speaker guy. I should try the headphones as I think it would help him. It is tough though. Is it something they outgrow?

Jenny said...

Aw, just reading she said she was sorry for being so scared broke my heart. Poor Sammi...Becca you are an amazing Mom, and hopefully it is something Sammi will outgrow. Sweet girl.

And I cannot believe you rode on an elephant!! I would not ever in a million years be that brave! lol