My husband has been on vacation this last week, and it’s always a joy for him to be here with me. We have a good time together. Since I have chronic illness, and I’m usually in a lot of pain, our vacations don’t usually entail much travel. We just hang out at the house, and maybe go shopping if I can handle it. What we do pretty much depends on what kind of day I’m having pain-wise. Neither of us mind this, he is just happy to be able to relax and not be working. For me, vacation time means I can spend more time with my best friend, even if we just stay around the house.
One problem, though…..he really enjoys watching television. I mean Really Enjoys It. Like, when he is home…..the television is always on. Always. And for me, that is a…..challenge. To put it mildly. Because of my hyper sensitive central nervous system, the background noise of the television makes me want to jump out of my skin. It is nearly impossible for me to be in the same room with him and the televsion, mainly because of the shows he watches. He likes action movies. He likes sports. Both of which have background noise and sound effects like….screaming, shouting, shooting, squealing tires, more screaming, more shouting……crowd noise….. well, you get the picture.
Many people, probably most people, would not even notice or process this “noise”…..most people would probably just let it go in one ear and out the other. It is not that simple for me. The way my brain is wired….it gets “stuck” on noise like TV noise and cannot get “un-snagged”….then the noise seems build and build, and it feels like it is going to blow up in my head and literally explode there. And when the television noise goes on for hours at a time, it makes me feel like I am going to have to scream. Like a kettle boiling on a stove, whistling away as the steam builds up…..something is going to blow!!!
After all these years living together, my husband now is realizing the effect that television noise has on me, and if I am in my office trying to work (which is an alcove just off the living room where the television is)….he will turn the volume down for me. He knows how distracting the noise is for me and how impossible it is for me to concentrate on anything if there is that kind of noise going on. For years he did not realize how incredibly crazy it could make me…..until he started seeing my reactions to it…..I got irritable, even angry….because not only was the noise making me feel like I was going to scream but also because I hated my reaction to something as simple as television noise!! I felt bad for being such a delicate little princess that had to have peace and quiet or she would have a meltdown. That is not the way I want to be, not the way I want to feel. But I do, and I can’t help it.
My husband will now go to the other room that has a television if he really wants to see an action movie with loud sound effects, and for that I really am grateful. I just simply cannot seem to be able to function if there is loud noise going on, so it helps me that he is so flexible. But I feel bad.
Anyway, today the television is on, he is watching a college football game (one of the worst kinds of programs for crowd noise OMG) and he has the sound turned down (without me asking)…..I am so grateful. When I am done typing this, I will tell him he can turn it back up again. We compromise. When I am trying to work or write or get something done here in my office, he will turn it down. When I am done working, I let him turn it up again and just grit my teeth.
It’s not just television noise that gets to me, it’s pretty much any loud, repetitive noise like buzzing or pretty much anything that goes on indefinitely. I also have problems with light and temperature.
This is just one of the lovely symptoms of having fibromyalgia. A hyper-sensitive central nervous system is one of the worst for me, almost as bad as the pain and fatigue. But we work around it. I’m just thankful to have a husband who understands and tries to make life a little easier for me and my hyper little brain.