Thursday, May 6, 2010

A cruel reminder

It's been over a year since I came so close to one of my overloads. This one came as a cruel reminder of why I'm on disability. The labels are autism, bipolar, and a permanent head injury. The head injury is at the least contused and damaged nerves in the right side of my forehead and at most a permanent brain injury that messes up my sensory input just that much more from my autism. I take a great risk in writing about them because of all the judgment and stigma. I also live in a small community where becoming an outcast is too easy. People fear what they don't understand.

But that's not what I'm here to talk about. I'm here to talk about that cruel reminder I got yesterday. Recently I had to give up my van for multiple reasons that I'm not going into here. Suffice to say it is dead and gone. I have to seek new transportation. In the mean time, I still have to get around. I thought, why not get a bicycle and one of those trailers for my son to sit in? Seemed like a good idea. I can't afford constant taxi fares, I have to make payments to anyone I buy a car from (not too many like that idea), and apparently I don't qualify for low income bus pass (borderline). A monthly bus pass in this little town is 48 bucks per person (regardless of age from five on up). That's 96 a month taken away from me saving up for a vehicle. So, I got a good deal on a bike and trailer for 180. Not bad.

It was hard to get started riding. I hadn't been on a bike in twenty years. But I surprised myself and made it. I was worried because one of the triggers for my overloads is over-exertion. But it didn't happen, not right away. On my fourth back and forth trip, each direction worth about forty minutes the wind was horrible on the way home. That's home from picking up my son at school. No, no bus available, I got shut down cold on that one. And I won't change schools on my son for just the last month of school. He has autism as well and it could damage all the good work done so far. Anyway, the wind yesterday was so hard it actually stopped me in mid-peddle and I had to try and push through it walking in several areas. Having that trailer on the back is like having an open parachute for the wind to just grab and yank around. By the time I got home, I was going into overload, I was ready to scream.

I did manage to avoid the full seizure like state by getting to my meds and getting into my "quiet spot" where I can cool down. My upper legs are bruised from the effort of just trying to get home. So that kind of kills the idea that I can keep riding a bike for taking my son to school. Short rides after my legs heal are a possibility but I do have avoid overheating as well.

For more about Sensory Overload I have a good report I wrote at

Please feel free to take a look and read up on it. It's not an easy or fun condition to live with and a lot of autistics do live with it.


aspiemom said...

That's so hard, Dave. I'm sorry.

I am surprised, though, that your district does not offer transportation for your son.

A bike is good during good weather, though.

Thewildeman2 said...

It's a tough situation, but I'm seeing it through. Gotta move forward right? Thankyou, and I'll be okay. The school districts here each do their own bussing instead of the city or county doing it, which is silly but what can I say? My ex wife is putting in assistance now to help get him to school. Only around a month left to go!