Tag Archives: autistic

The Hair Dye Rollercoaster

Dying Hair.

I rather imagine that to most people, it’s not that big a deal… Or maybe it is, because, well, it is their hair. But whatever that truth may be, mine is that of… well, if it goes wrong, it’s a Mega Disaster of Exreme Proportions. What am I talking about? Hair dying going very, very wrong. Not the “it’s gone accidentally green” kind, mind you — for me, all it has to be is the wrong shade (especially if it’s too dark). It’s a very, very real concern for me, when I have to start using a new hair dye, because my usual one is somehow available no more.

The very words new hair dye just fills me with dread. It could mean anything — a wonderful new find, or a complete disaster of epic proportions that scar my red-hair-loving sensitivities. There have been more than enough disasters. I’m too old and too experienced, and far too Aspie now, to cope with anything other than perfection. And I cannot guarantee that if I have to use a completely different kind of hair dye, and just do more than basically hope for the best…

As an Aspie (ASD/Asperger’s), I find any change incredibly distressing… Add to that, my finding out my favourite hair dye was now unavailable and had ceased to exist. Not only that, I’d not long had to go and find it as “the new hair dye”, because my former favourite dye had been changed just enough so that it was now unreliable, even had an unstable and unseemly colour to it… and I had been using that one for years. It was not good.

All this, along with everything else, was making things not too easy to live with, when it came to my hair. My hair means everything to me, and dying it red — no matter what shade of it that I’m after at any one time — is the biggest part of it. Without it, I wasn’t me. I couldn’t self-identify in any way if I didn’t look down as see red tresses. If I looked in the mirror and saw even a small amount of “Badgering” (where the regrowth is a mixture of heavy grey and nearly-black hair that is showing well enough to be obvious), then I started getting a little anxious it was no longer red.

An Aspie’s Dilemma — Fear vs. Roots

It might sound silly, or dramatic, to others, but so much swapping and changing was all starting to feel like Trauma. It can be downright traumatic to endure any changes when you’re ASD; but something that beloved [as my hair] being forced to undergo so many of them in a relatively short space of time (for me) makes it too, too hard.

This felt like Trauma, on top of Trama, on top of Trauma. This current rollercoaster of hair colour was emotionally exhausting, always having to go and find a new one that would suffice, and then having to use a whole new dye, forced to repeat the scenario over and over again, when this recently “new” one is discontinued or no longer available for some other reason.

Not only is all of this going round in my head to deal with, but there is also the part where I’m trying to come to terms with the fact that a replacement is required at all... My mind simply cannot comprehend why it’s necessary to discontinue or change something that just works. That fact is also difficult to comprehend. When it does happen… It’s always a split second moment of being hit with the feeling of utter grief and despair of the loss (yes, honestly, that is how I feel!), soon replaced by a sense of just freefalling and panic. What to do now? What am I supposed to do, what am I supposed to use, to colour my hair? Where do I go? Who [in the hair dye universe] do I turn to now? How could this happen? Why me? … Seriously. 😐 🤨

It runs through my head, over and over again, like a mantra of pure terror, of utter panic. It usually sends me into a frantic, fevered hunt all over the internet for something to replace it. Quick. This super-fast pandemonium is only halted by finding something that will… suffice… at being my answer.

I do hate doing at that though… It’s a sensation that I would rather never experience. Ever. I was saved from it for many, many years — but then the company went and changed it, somehow, and then I had to go to find different ones. Then a few months after I managed to find its replacement, that ended up discontinued without a word of warning. Leaving me with absolutely nothing with nowhere to turn. Just Charming...




This is how I have ended up with this choice — Garnier Olia. It has some lovely reds on offer; the one I chose (after some long pondering), was 7.40 Intense Copper.

My hair was dyed a very similar colour from my last one — therefore, to me, this felt like it showed the most promising liklihood to be an adequate replacement.

So, terrified and with great trepidation, I chose it and waited to find out the fate of my hair with this one.




New Beginnings. Again.

Starting the process of using a new hair dye was a Big Step. I had to try hard to convince myself to do it. In the end, it was the Badgering — at least 2 inches of the that damned regrowth by now — that did it in the end, and pushed me over the edge. I just couldn’t take it staring at me anymore.

The process wasn’t a complicated one, about the same as all the others, but it was more elegant and better thought-out than any other one I’d come across. It was rather clever and thoughtful to make it so you could use the box itself as a steadying stand for the applicator whilst you poured the Developer Creme and Colour into it.

For someone with dexterity issues and weakened fine motor skills, who is now very clumsy from it, this Hair Dye Set/Kit was the easiest one I have come across. For me, it is the most “fingers-friendly” of them all. I really liked using it, and I was constantly surprised as to how different (read: “easy”) it was to use to the others.

It also certainly didn’t hurt that it all came in some lovely packaging, too. The box itself is very elegant, sophisticated and eye-catching, with most of the front of it showing just the hair colour, not a model with it on, allowing you to have a better idea of what shade is to be expected when using it. The bottles and tubes within are pretty and easy to use — not to mention the tear-shaped bulbous applicator that is a fantastic shape to use it, and makes applying it, even with my rather struggling hands and fingers, easy to manage.

If the Kit itself was well-made, the product — in my own opinion — was just as much so. It was easy to use the dye, because instead of it being a form of… sticky, goopy, watery, well, goo… it’s a thin but creamy-esque texture that was easy to put on. It went much further than the average bottle of dye. It covered pretty much all of my hair quite well (and I have really long hair) and I only used the one bottle to complete my hopefully-not-too-different transformation.

I leave dye on to marinade/cook way too long — but I find that it works a treat. It’s not 30 minutes, like on the box… Oh, no. Mine is more like, 3 hours. Oh, yep! But afterwards, I get a pretty great colour, better than I did before.

To add to this, I also wrap it up in a plastic shopping carrier bag, tied around my head. This helps keep it from drying out, helps keep it safe — and things safe from it! — and allows it to marinade better under there. They’re quite the rarities now, but I end up getting a few of these plastic carrier bags from some places, and mainly Subway sandwich stores, due to requiring to carry multiple items on the back of my wheelchair, and of course, I hang onto them all to dye my hair with!


Shiny. New. Hair!

The rest of it now, even for me, is a piece of cake. After the required Marinating Time, it’s into the shower and the dye comes streaming off.

The rest, as they say, is history!

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MRI – The Claustrophobic Miracle-Worker

Had MRI today. I do not recommend them… Squished into a toothpaste-tube washing machine drum that feels like your own coffin fornipnto 45 minutes – not my ideal way to spend a morning…
Apparently they did actually find a brain, though. So there!

*Stipulation: Must admit they did not specify it was On or working, mind… 

 

They’re not pleasant creatures, MRI scanners. However, their inventor and everyone who has had a hand into shaping what it – and fMRI scanners – are, should be lauded and worshiped as magicians and forever lifesavers.. Saints, almost. What their contraption(s) have done revolutionised people’s ability to be diagnosed with neurological and neuropathological – and eve “psychological” conditions.

They proved the true existence of schizophrenia, MS, Fibromyalgia, depression, even Gender Dysphoria (being transgendered). They have also disproved and alleviated fears and suspicions of long-term illness or disability for people. Allowed doctors to see why some people will never walk and others don’t after paralysis or numbness, by giving them the ability to see the spinal cord, discs, and nervous pathways.

Hopefully, today, it will allow them to see I do not have anything to awful causing my weird and god-awful… condition. 

 

life's pooh

 

I was lucky this appointment came very quickly. It was in a temporary mobile unit at the local hospital, rather than the big one that is quite far away. The nurses were so lovely (and I’m completely sure they knew nothing about my ASD), so calm, so confident in helping and their support, that when something looked like it was about to go a little wrong, their support – and my father’s support – helped me go through with it. Just goes to show you don’t need to be “Autism-Friendly” specifically all the time… Just nice.

The thing itself is unpleasant, but they tried their best to make it as not-so-bad as possible. Ear plugs, ear pads, and a big foam pillow under my knees as I lay down, made it as comfortable as possible for me to lie there (they also offered an eye-mask, which I declined). A plastic “cage” (for scanner-tracking) was locked over my face, and I was ready. Well, properly packaged, anyway. I think few people are truly “ready”.

Then I was slowly fed in so it could literally look inside my brain.

Head and neck took about 20 mins each – they took a little extra time because the spasms (usually controlled my Magnesium oil) were starting up and making me twitch or flinch enough to spoil their pictures. Because I did not use the Magnesium oil and had my Pregabalin at the wrong time (the appointment was for the time I take them, and I needed them to be kicked in way before then), I was managing on the essential oil recipe and, well, quite a lot of alchohol – which is never by choice, believe me…

I stayed up all night for this – which wasn’t even a chore because I have a great new game (that would be Mass Effect: Andromeda) and I was utterly scared out of my mind about going through this. I always hate them and they’re horrible, but to get the peace of mind (or answers) you need, they’re necessary, so you put up and shut up. But that doesn’t make them any less scary.

The noises change from a downright trance/dubstep/garage dance beat, to Woodpecker Mode, to hammer-pounding, and all sorts in between (but they’re the main ones). Then there’s silence whilst they check the pictures or move you in the machine. The weirdest thing is the… sensations… the thing gives you too. Tingling, vertigo, disorientation… other things… you can feel where it’s looking by what you feel and where. It’s a strange experience, but one that does no harm (anxiety and panic aside…).

They can – and do – talk to you when they need to, and they will give you some “time checks” when you’re inside, which is helpful. And finally, they’ll tell you it’s time for you to leave. The bed slides out and the bright lights burn the your eyes – or, hopefully, back of eyelids – after being in your little white coffin for so long.

Then… It’s all over.

 

 


Alone Without Precedent

The more I am in this situation, the more it eludes and confounds me. It doesn’t help that it thus far has no definitive name. What really doesn’t help is the psychological aspect.

I checked around the Internet… There seems to be really little on ASD/ Autism/ Asperger Syndrome with neurological or physical chronic illnesses. There seems to be no precedent, nothing out there from other people  who are or have been in a similar situation. There’s one or the other – but not both together.

I feel I am wondering out in the wilderness with no way of knowing which way to go, or where I am even going. There is so little help… Nothing but Waiting Lists, and then some. Lots and lots of them – Neurology, Occupational Therapy, Psychological Services… and then there’s more to come for diagnostics, physiotherapy, treatment, more appointments… A never-ending carousel of waiting. With no one to help in the meantime. Without a clue as to what might be wrong with you or why you’re suddenly like… this.

All I know is that it’s no longer Fibromyalgia. Last time I checked that required pain. Mine is all gone, replaced by horrible other things instead. No longer hyper-sensitive to cold, no longer in that pain I was in, no longer able to feel… well, almost anything. I’ve never hit my “funny bone” before and barely noticed. The dog can walk or bounce on me, chew [gently] on my arm and play with it. I don’t notice bumping into things, or people accidentally knocking into me, or things falling on me, or even touching my own arm or leg. I’ve been told there’s a terrible rash on my back and neck as a response to using oils – and I would be none the wiser if they hadn’t told me. I can’t feel it and it doesn’t even bother me. But when I touch it, it feels pretty rotten, I must admit…

img_0886Today my fingers went really numb… like someone had tied super-tight string at the bottom of each one; that feeling of the blood flow being cut off – and yet there was nothing on my hands at all. Not even gloves. I have also had a very hard time with extreme Fatigue (and I do presume I have a cold, to be honest), argued with gathering a Shard on Dragon Age: Inquisition, and my back and legs (especially my legs) have been quite “buzzing” and/or tingling (varying through the day). This morning I couldn’t even move or feel my own self to even try.

Right now I have to manage on the – rather genius and amazing – essential oil recipes for neuropathy and then for fatigue/brain focus, Devil’s Claw, Magnesium Oil (amazing), Neurozan vitamins, and coffee. Occasionally there’s minimal Co-Codramol (8mg/500mg) – almost always when I have a cold or infection – and Boots Botanics Ylang Ylang & Manderin “Aromatic Rollerball”. That’s on top of maxed-out Pregabalin pills. But without a definitive diagnosis, we’re all just pissing in the wind, guessing and hoping for the best.

I feel alone. Lonely. Because it really does seem I’m all by myself with this. Yes, peopleimg_9891 have neuropathic chronic illnesses, and yes, people have ASD. I am yet to find someone else out there who has experienced this and at least attempted to navigate this.

With the NHS in turmoil, and Social Care drastically underfunded, I’ve pretty much relegated myself to the Raggydoll pile. I just now wish to be the best I can be, especially psychologically. It’s a big ask, but it’s all I can focus on – and the only thing I can control now. There is just nothing left in my life I have any control over, and I have no idea. I am in the middle of it and I don’t understand any of this – so it’s hardly like you can expect anyone else to… But I do wish that at least I did. And this new numbness twist? That just hurts my head.

I am just lost, and I do not like that at all.


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