One small thing I noticed about my trip home was that I was found myself bombarded by triggers much more than I've felt before. I pretty much left my earplugs in the entire time I was at home. My folks were very understanding about it and at times I tried to only wear one, but in the end found that even leaving one ear exposed - especially during meal times - felt very unbearable to me. I've always known that eating/drinking triggers are very bad for me at the dining room table, but I was very surprised to find that I could hear my aunt drink a glass of what I can only assume was orange juice (one of her favorite morning beverages) in another room. I'm not kidding. I heard every swallow (which actually is a double swallow sound) while sitting in the living room over 25' away from the enclosed kitchen. There's a wall between the two rooms, although the kitchen has openings on both of the short ends. I didn't see her, so it's not like I visually anticipated her drinking the juice, yet I could hear her swallowing the entire glass. I couldn't believe it myself!
Putting the eating/drinking triggers aside, I did have several major conversations with my folks about misophonia, not just about my own experiences but in general as well. My uncle is a therapist so he and I spent a lot of time delving into some deep discussions about what it's like, how it's affected me, and I even pulled some medical/psychological research articles off the web so he could read write-ups by fellow professionals, instead of just hearing about my own "layperson" accounts. There were times that he really pushed me with my thoughts, sometimes to the point of frustration on my part, but afterwards I'm glad he did. He really made me think how to verbalize my experiences in different ways and opened myself to other ideas I hadn't considered before. (I know I'm being vague here but I really want to address the specifics in subsequent posts because we really went in-depth into certain topics.)
One thing I'd like to share here is that this was the first opportunity that I was able to share with my folks the doctor's printed report from the Mayo Clinic. I really wanted to know my uncle's professional opinion about what he wrote because my past discussions with him has only been about my interpretation of the report. What I found interesting is that he said the report was very well written. He said it was clear, concise, and that the doctor said I described my condition very intelligently. He didn't think that the doctor was overly focused about my mother's suicide as much as my interpretation of the report. What can I say? It could be that my past experiences with how people react when they found out how she died made me read more into the doctor's mentioning it twice in the report than I should have. Perhaps after being told to prepare to be there for 5-6 days while a patient, I was disappointed that my visit took less time than the 3.5 hour it took me to drive there and that they didn't do any brain scans or other tests beyond simple manual resistance and motor skills tests. I hope my earlier posts didn't come across as dismissive. I certainly don't want to dissuade anyone else from going there. I figure the more people that go to Mayo Clinic for help, the more they'll realize that there is a need FOR help, and perhaps our plight will inspire the doctors there to investigate it more. Maybe someone else with misophonia will have better luck with them than I did (especially if that person goes to them without the same kind of tragedies I experienced earlier in life.) If there are any readers out there who also went to the Mayo Clinic to seek help, I'd love to hear how your experiences there compared to mine.
Anyway, my uncle did comment about the doctor's recommendation that I see a cognitive therapist (which I seem to recall was in their Mental Health Group). My uncle had a book by the psychiatrist who developed the cognitive therapeudic approach, Aaron Beck, and since I didn't get a chance to read it while at home, I plan to see if I can borrow it from a library to learn more about what it's all about. If it may help with my misophonia, I'm certainly open to explore different options. The one thing my uncle cautioned me is that if I seek help from a cognitive therapist, they will focus on the psychological aspect of what I'm going through, and not really consider the physiological side. I do still believe that my misophonia is more physical than psychological, so I may hold off pursuing the cognitive therapist right now - at least until I have a chance to read the book my uncle showed me so I can understand more about the therapy.
On a side note, I do want to follow-up my 4/10/13 post about the webinar by the behavioral scientist. I watched one of his sessions a few days before I started my travels and he sent me a link to the recording on YouTube while I was away. If you're interested, the YouTube recording is here.