I keep on learning about my sensitivities – it’s mind-boggling!

Had someone told me I’d feel the difference between a smooth-surfaced road and a rough-surfaced road while travelling in a car I would have stared at them in disbelief.

But truly, I can! And the difference it makes to my body is significant.

It’s not just vibration we’re talking about – it’s the sound too.

I need a Rolls-Royce! Better still, a hot air balloon (so long as there isn’t another pop!).

Given I hardly get in the car to head to Melbourne, this has taken a long time to figure out. It also took a stretch of road that was being resurfaced on the freeway from Queenscliff to Geelong.

It was honestly like a switch once I realised what was going on. Of course, I doubted myself first because these things are hard to explain to people who don’t live with pain and you get used to replying to yourself with ‘don’t be silly – it’s your imagination’.

It’s most often not.

Vibrations and noise have always been problematic for me and that’s becoming more understandable now – it even has a name – sensory pain.

Think of it as a switchboard short-circuiting. The vibrations and noises should be responses that go unnoticed but not in the case of my nervous system.

The pain levels aren’t excruciating commuting in a car but they are heavy. The build-up of pain is slow during the long trip and we can’t stop for a drink anymore due to COVID-19. A pitstop in Geelong with 1.5 glasses of wine had me sorted for the last 30kms. Inbound (to Melbourne) we used to stop for a croissant.

We’ll be picking that routine up as soon as COVID-19 permits.

What I notice when we hit that smooth surface is this lovely ping effect and a silence in my body. It’s beautiful. All is still and quiet instead of a slow roar that feels like it’s travelling up from my feet and tail, through my spine and into my ear.

As the tyres of the car cross the line between surfaces, my nervous system immediately responds.

The longer impact due to commuting comes later and lasts between 2 – 5 days. My whole routine is thrown through this time. I feel like I’m starting the pace up all over again – I am!

I truly have come to despise being in the car! On the way to the destination, I find myself thinking, this is ok, I’ll manage this. But the days that follow leave me feeling no trip is worth it… unless it’s to stay in Melbourne a few nights or to drive to the airport! Only for these grand, wonderful experiences is the pain worth enduring.