Jersey Duvet – For Sensory Overload.

When Paddington Bear spent his first night with the Browns, he wakes up the next morning and stretches out his legs across clean, cold, white sheets and feels a sense of tremendous calm.

Beanpole & other dear family members have Aspergers, a form of Autism that can leave them with sensory overload from sound, light, or touch. Interestingly, that overload is also common in people with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. The difference is our self soothing behaviours. My poor Beanpole hasn’t reached the stage where she is aware that things are building and will meltdown when it all gets too much- her triggers are sound, textures, and people, she’s much better with visuals. I become overwhelmed by visual stimulus which causes headaches and a knock on of this is sensory overload from just too much bloody pain. I don’t scream & cry, but boy do I ever get snappy. I’m working on this.

Beanpole needs to be cocooned in bed (we rather unkindly refer to her bed as the rats nest as it’s built up with blankets, toys, & “important things”), I need contoured space; Beanpole loves nothing better than to be hugged tightly, I become overwhelmed by hugs as they cause pain; Beanpole craves coolness, I crave heat (Then complain that I’m potsie). Both of us find soft fabrics soothing.

Enter the Jersey Bedset.

(Note – this does contain a review of the Bedset from Dunelm Mill. I bought these myself without prompting & have received no payment or gift etc.)

The Bedset we bought was the Jersey Marl set from Dunelm Mill (at time of posting, these are 50% off, so £15 for a superking duvet set). As we had recently bought twin electric adjustable beds (now bolted together), we bought the superking duvet set which is the duvet cover & 2 pillowcases, 2 extra pillowcases, and two single fitted sheets. The adjustable bed has been one of the big purchases, but one we didn’t regret. We pretend that we have a mahoosive bed as two 3ft beds bolted together make a superking, but generally stick to our own mattress and my constant thrashing no longer disturbs sleeping beardy. (I considered taking a photo of snoozypants for this section, but thought better of it)

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Buying sheets for an adjustable bed is a pain in the posterior as the mattress length is 200cm instead of the standard 190cm. However, the fabric is stretchy and fitted the mattresses perfectly. Previously, sheets have come from le internet & at a premium because adjustable beds come under “disabled equipment”. I tend to imagine Jafar making the pricing decisions for disability gear.

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Mr Geek looked at them the first time and sighed as they are “a bit beige”. Agreed, there’s no pattern and with everything one colour it’s not the most exciting bedset. The difference is tactile. When you live with chronic pain or sensory overload, the last thing you need at night is something scratchy or starchy and uncomfortable. These are neither. Just like Paddington, I can stretch my feet out & feel soft sheets that never have that sharp coldness of cottom, but also rarely cause me to overheat.

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When you wear a tshirt, it folds and stretches with your body, and similar can be said for these. The down side of this is the duvet having a life of its own with baggy bits of cover appearing at the edges. Mr Geek reliably informs me that this does not affect the ease of putting it on the quilt, although getting it perfectly straight is nigh on impossible. Beanpole and her rats nest see this as a bonus feature.

From a sensory perspective, these are particularly calming as there is a single very soft texture, a single neutral colour, and don’t create extremes of temperature. For Beanpole, this means she can turn herself into a super soft sausage roll, and for me, I can focus on mindfulness allowing a bit more restful sleep which is a blessing in itself.

Personally, just in case they stop selling them (please don’t!), I’m going to buy an extra set of sheets. I guess that’s my vote for these as an excellent purchase.

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My Daughter is a Raptor

I think most parents with an aspie child have days when they look at their child and think “yeah, I’d probably do that too”, it’s just today I envied beanpole’s way of dealing with things being up in the air. Tonight that has taken the form of her being a raptor & it’s making her happy. (School project has allowed her to immerse herself in her favourite subject since the age of 2. Dinosaur knowledge is way beyond stuff I know). I have chest pain…. She’s being a raptor. Frankly, I reckon she’s coping much better!

It’s been a weird old week. Beanpole went off to a school residential camp, I’ve had a course outsude of school alongside long evenings with open days for new students & our usual weekend routine got turned upside down.

By Friday I was coming apart at the seams. My personal limit was found when I eventually found where beanpole was staying (5 minutes further than I had anticipated), found a dodgy parking spot and was promptly told to move. There was nowhere else to park. I tried to reason, but instead had to do a 12 point turn and drive back up the single track road until I found a bush soft enough to park the car in so I wasn’t blocking the road. This wasn’t the plan. Now I was late. I’m a professional adult who has been reduced to tears because I didn’t know where to park my car. In fact I hadn’t quite pulled myself together by the time I joined the other parents. A few excuses about work being full on….

At least it’s the weekend. We have a routine. But not this weekend,  because seeing as I’ve been ill for two weeks and have barely stopped we’re going to cram extra stuff into the weekend on top of the 10 hours of prep/marking that I’m attempting to get done. Our standard family dinner where we discuss the week went out the window, so now I’m already unprepared for Monday. The less organized I feel, the tighter my throat feels and the more I feel like running away and hiding under a blanket.  Or more realistically,  stamping my feet publicly and shouting at everyone to do what they are meant to be doing & stop changing things (translated in my head as why are you acting like arseholes? Can’t you see this is driving me mad? )

This is all sounding very familiar.

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I think this suggests I’m back to being anxiety girl (with the superpower of blowing things out of proportion! )… and I secretly know where beanpole gets it from.

I’d much rather be a raptor than me right now.