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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Ducks Don’t Hold Grudges. Oh, and watch out for the ninja.

I’m all up for freedom of expression, but sometimes my girls manage to leave me totally lost for words.(ok, this blog post suggests otherwise)

It’s been an awfully long day and I’m very tired, so when I wandered bleary eyed through the door 11 1/2 hours after wandering out bleary eyed this morning I wasn’t expecting to be greeted by this!

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Umm… Yeah. So apparently she’s now a ninja.

I guess I shouldn’t expect any less. After all, I decided to be a frog yesterday (which continues to go well. I left today with stuff still outstanding and instead of being stressed out, I realized that it will still be there tomorrow and no-one will die – for those of you who are raising an eyebrow at this point, it all becomes clear in this post).

It just reminds me that the girls have developed the quirky sense of self that I always wanted them to have. Being girly is fine if that’s what you want to be, alternatively wear a top hat and monocle, or nab daddy’s hat and become a ninja until its bedtime.

I’m writing this sitting with them as they settle down for bed and the pair of them have opted to read to themselves instead of a story from me. It’s just another sign that they’re growing up and learning to love the world of imagination that books let you get lost in. I hope they never lose that and by adulthood, beanpole will be just as inclined to dress up like a ninja for the day on a whim.

But on to what I had originally intended to blog about before I was confronted by my eight year old assassin…

Ducks. They don’t hold grudges (technically, neither do frogs, but for the sake of this metaphor lets stick with the feathery pond creature). Having started to let things go, it’s become quite addictive and I was thrown another literary curve ball today with the statement “ducks, they don’t hold a grudge”. Are ducks very stressed? I have no idea, I guess they might be if you started to talk about hoisin sauce in a threatening manner to them… But in general, they swim about, occasionally have a jostle with another duck who’s barging in on their bread time then they swim off as if nothing had happened. They don’t actively avoid the bread stealing duck. They don’t shun the other duck for being a bread pirate. They quack their piece and its done.

I’m not a duck today. I’m still busy being a frog. I’ve been sitting on my lily pad contemplating the ducks though.

I realized that actually, this ability to step back from my racing panic thoughts isn’t something new. A while back when I was in a less than pleasant place, I had a bit of an epiphany whilst driving the car. I remember it clearly – I had just turned onto a roundabout and was freaking out about something that was worrying me and I just heard myself inside my head tell me to calm down and stop worrying as it can’t possibly be so bad that I need to crash the car and the panic went away. It felt like an hour going around that roundabout, but when I turned off I consciously realized that I was actually capable of coping with more than I gave myself credit for.

Within six months of that epiphany, I had got my life more together and whilst I have still been prone to fits of panic and self control to the point of insanity, I have maintained an inner monologue that means I can carry on for the most part. My goal is now to keep calm while I’m at it. Calm? Ok, no not calm, that suggests just suppressing everything. Pragmatic.

So, a pragmatic frog who seeks to let go of grudges.

Ribbit.