Thank you, Sue!
Sue left a comment that I may be experiencing APD (or CAPD), which I may have heard before, but didn’t process and investigate until just now.
This time I googled it, and found various explanations of APD along with a blog by a woman named Andrea who – although different from me in many ways – seems to share this:
I have especial difficulty on the phone or when I am not watching someone speak. When writing for newspapers and magazines I hated doing interviews, and have never been fond of carrying on extended telephone conversations.
I really hate checking voice-mail, especially when I have to listen to the same rambling message three or four times just for the fast, slurred phone number at the end! Text messages work much better for me.
Reading someone else writing about my own plight is like a huge weight being lifted off of my shoulders.
Often I’ll call someone and leave my name and number, spoken V E R Y slowly, because it drives me nuts when I have to listen and re-listen and re-listen just to get a number that’s not exactly right.
I feel so relieved, so vindicated, that what I have may be “real” and may have a name.
For so long I have felt stupid and lazy. I hated having folks characterize my telephone experience as, “Oh, you just don’t like to talk on the phone…”
When there’s loud electronic noise I can’t hear what ANYONE says, and when there’s rap with a heavy bass beat going on outside (thank you, neighbor’s child) I may as well hang it up when I try to understand what’s being said on TV or the radio.
The odd thing is that I love books on tape, audio books. Although I will admit that I do find myself repeating sections of the book several times to fully understand what’s been said. Maybe I just like the sense of someone talking to me when I don’t have to answer back?
At any rate, I’m going to see about making an appt with an audiologist to see if I can get this officially diagnosed, then perhaps there are strategies or things I can do to better comprehend telephone conversations.
Also on the medical front, my breathing’s been SO bad since leaving Jan’s, and I finally had to admit that it was much worse than it’s been in about 4 years (since the Winter of my COPD diagnosis) It’s been so bad that just getting up to walk to the front door winded me, and worried the kids. I hate to worry Hannah, she’s handled so much so well this year.
When I start wheezing and coughing uncontrollably, turning red, she says, “Mom, are you okay?” with so much fear in her voice. The feeling that I’m scaring my daughter is almost worse than not breathing.
So I went to the doctor yesterday and he agreed that I sounded terrible, very inflamed, and that he felt that something in Jan’s house had triggered some reaction in my lungs. He said it usually takes a few days for the symptoms to present themselves fully, which is why it seemed to get worse after I left Jan’s. So I’m back on the steroids again. Dang. I hate them.
I hate how puffy I get, I hate how irritable I feel, I hate not being able to sleep (they make me fidgity.)
But I love to breathe, and after one day of them I must admit I am breathing better.
I told the doc I’d been trying to walk and ride my bike, but he said to cut that out until my breathing was better.
Which I hope will be soon because nothing makes me happier than riding my bike. I always imagine myself as a French Resistance fighter (I kept yelling, “Vive la France!” on our bike tour of Paris, my dreams fulfilled…)