Last week I told you all about my discovery of...why I am the way I am. (Twister, anyone?) You can read the full disclosure here: Now I Know the Name of the Beast: It's Called APD.
It turns out my timing on discovering this disorder was better than I realized, because this Wednesday, April 4th, is Auditory Processing Disorder Awareness Day, which apparently started in Minnesota six years ago. Yes, not only is APD a "real thing" it actually has it's own dedicated day!
So to recap, APD isn't about my ears not hearing noise well, it's about my brain not interpreting sound correctly.
In other words, this sort of accommodation isn't gonna help.
As you can probably tell, in the spirit of April Fools Day, I want to have just a little fun with it this week.
Now, to be clear, I'm certainly not making fun of APD victims (cuz Lord knows I are one). It's actually pretty unfunny when you're trying to deal with this disorder and some of the more severe cases are definitely no laughing matter. But in its milder form, as in my manifestation, sometimes having APD can be an amusing--or maybe the word is bemusing--experience.
So today you get some of my original anecdotal artwork (aka doodle-scribbles) with the appropriate caption (which borrows heavily from Jeff Foxworthy's schtick).
If you can hear everyone fine,
you just can't understand what they're saying
....you might have APD.
If someone gives you detailed directions
to the restroom but you can only
remember that first left
...you might have APD.
If you heard everything your reader
asked right up to that
...you might have APD.
So, I Can't Blame my Idiosyncrasies on Being Blonde Anymore?
Yeah, I'm blonde. Which means I get told a lot of blonde jokes. Ever heard this one?
A blonde calls the fire station.
Blonde: I need to report a fire!
Fireman: Is it a house fire?
Fireman: Okay, tell us how to get there.
Blonde: Well, duh. Big red truck?
"Big red truck" became a buzzword between me and Liz, one of my peers at work, when I didn't catch on to something that was said. It was our private little joke. And now I know the name of that Big Red Truck.
One of my oft-uttered apologies was: "Sorry. Sometimes I live up my haircolor." But now I know it wasn't always just a case of "acting like a blonde," there's an actual disorder behind many of my episodes of...well...blondeness. :)
And, For the Most Part, I Can't Blame it on being an Introvert Either?
I've always had a tendency to avoid crowds and noisy places. During big events like RWA Nationals, I need a little time out of every day to go to my room and "decompress" and regroup in the peace and quiet.
Now I know it's not just about being an introvert, because I really do enjoy interacting with friends and peers. But big crowds and chaotic places take a toll. By about day four of any conference, I'm literally exhausted and drained from the strain of constant concentration. That's when I skip the last sessions and go to my room to quietly pack. Although I'm definitely an introvert, now I know some of this avoidance/coping behavior is most likely due to the stress brought on by APD.
I scowl a lot. I honestly don't even realize I'm scowling. Scowling transmits certain messages to others--like I'm stern, aloof, unfriendly, grouchy--when the real reason I scowl is that I'm concentrating really hard on interpreting the tsunami of auditory input.
So, sorry all, don't mean to put on my grumpy face! That, too, just seems to come with APD territory.
Think of it like this: For me, attempting to function in a noisy environment is very much like trying to solve a Rubik's Cube.
This explains why, for my whole life, people have told me, "Just smile!" (What? I thought I was smiling!)
So just smile! And have a great week!