I have been restlessly lying awake in bed, feeling tired but with an over-active mind. Fed up of my situation I decided to get up and write about something. I put some new foam ear-plugs in last night and rather than taking them out when I got up, I thought I would aid my writing by leaving them in. It is a strange experience going to the toilet without sound. I wonder if this will be my future when my hearing goes? I also decide not to get dressed but “slob” in my pyjamas with some jumpers on top. As I pull my jumper over my head I hear my neck crinkle through my skeleton (a bit like rice crispies in milk) which slightly surprises me.

I say slightly because I injured my neck when I was sixteen doing a headstand. I got stuck in position (how is that possible?). I panicked due to not being able to get down and withdrew my hands from supporting the position. I wobbled a bit before my neck folded 90 degrees so my chin was on my chest and I rolled backwards. I received a kink in my vertebrae line right at the base of my skull after that and a very sore neck for quite a while. My neck has never been “right” since that day. It never occurred to me to seek medical help. Later on I wondered if I had broken my neck in some way, but nobody has ever commented on it despite my body being scanned for other things.

I am sitting here crinkling my neck again. Weird.

I didn’t put anything on my feet for slob mode. I leave the bedroom and head towards the kitchen. I have to go and say hello to my dog because otherwise his whining will wake up the whole household. The noise is caused by him seeing or hearing me and not being able to get to me. His day doesn’t start until he has greeted me and I have properly greeted him. I get a glass of water and the dog is still pawing me for attention. A bit more mutual admiration and I decide to let him out into the garden. The floor is warm because the heating is on but today rather than just acknowledge the room is warm, I feel the heat threw my soles. Whilst I am thinking about this and moving towards the back door, I feel the floor vibrating. The nearer I get to the door, the greater the bouncing and I realise the washing machine must be on. Again, I know the washing machine makes the floor move, but before today I haven’t experienced it like this.

As I stand by the back door looking waiting for the dog to return, I look around the garden. There is a frost on the ground. I decide to stand on only my right leg. It is the weaker of the two and I think it is good to use it solo.  Do the ear plugs make me more aware of that weakness? I look into the distance and see there is still white crisp snow on the mountains highlighted by the sunshine and clear blue skies. It is a beautiful day. It looks like another beautiful skiing day. Not for me though. I have a photography assignment this afternoon. The dog returns and sits at the top of the steps by the door looking expectantly over his domain. I am concerned he will start barking which will annoy my wife, so I open the door and let him back in.

He is expecting food now that he has “exercised” but I ignore this and head to the front room where my laptop is resting. I should just get on and write but I let myself be distracted by blog articles I noticed last night. There’s one on quantum fluctuations which I hesitate over liking, another on photographs of angry birds (whose author has sadly attracted a troll) which I love so much I then go onto Instagram to look at more amazing nature photographs. I paused then because the next article is about sensory experiences and I worry my writing will be influenced. I read and like it anyway.

Right my turn to write something now. Reading other articles does influence me of course. I have three areas on my mind that I want to write something about but I am finding them hard to start. As I ponder I notice my body. The temporary deafness allows me to focus more on what is going on internally for me. My aches and pains are more intense. The dull ache in my shoulder joints is heightened, as is how the forward slump of my shoulders. The dull ache in my hips, the stronger ache in my knees, my hands, my wrists. I feel the weight of my tiredness enveloping me, and is that a touch of depression too? So much seems to be masked by acoustic input that I think I should write about this experience. Am I noticing more emotions as well as pain? Is that why I felt so sad that somebody that gives so much positivity to others gets trolled?

And that takes me back to those articles to add some comments. Awareness is a wonderful thing.

My wife comes into the room and says something to me. I point to my ears to indicate I have ear plugs in and she points to her eyes. No glasses, so she can’t tell what is in my ears. I vocalise my communications and she looks around for pen and paper. I tell that her with a laugh that we are having a cut-down sensing day. She writes that she wants a lift at 10am into town. The way she writes it, it looks like gift.

And that time has come and gone. I remove the ear plugs to drive the car. I would have like to have kept them in but I don’t think it is a good idea for the safety of everyone involved. Auditory canals open, the world becomes a busier place. The world becomes a more complicated place. My wife and I talk about work things as we travel. I drop her off and return home thinking about noise. I find it harder to function in a world filled with sounds. There are so many distractions. I wonder how much energy I use up because of my auditory sensitivity. There are people to talk to at home too. Things to discuss. I feel the need to water the plants out of distress I think. People disappear and I return to my writing, ear plugs back in place. Is there more traffic on the road now? I don’t remember hearing it before. Perhaps the ear plugs are less effective on their second use?

I feel sad and depressed. The world feels like an easier place when I can’t hear so much of it. But I also have to live in the world where living is interacting and taking part in. If I hear the world as well as I can then I get accustomed to it and things like my aches and pain disappear into the background. Is that a good thing? A natural pain management regime. Yes and no is the answer. It is good for coping with joint pain for instance, but I think the joint pain doesn’t go anywhere, it is getting swamped by other pain, a pain from hearing too much. Awareness can be a wonderful thing, but it can be a monster too.