14 Months with Tinnitus So Far — History of Using Oxycontin/Hydrocodone Recreationally

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by LostinTX, Feb 5, 2022.

    1. LostinTX
      Not amused

      LostinTX Member

      Location:
      Arlington, TX
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      poss ototoxicity/unknown/BVVP diagnosed first then tinnitus
      Hello! Been lurking around here back and forth for a while. Trying to remain positive with this 'thing' I never knew existed until it happened. That's how I think most people find out, right? I didn't want to post for fear of actually remaining here if that makes sense?

      My journey started October/November 2020 with tinnitus and I'm going to be really honest about it. For about 5 years I was taking Oxycontin/Hydrocodone recreationally. After that much time, yes my tolerance was through the roof. I could literally take 60 mg of Oxycontin and still be upright and go run 5 miles. I'm in my late 40s and for a decade I ran 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, one full marathon. Running was a great natural high before the opiates. Then we had a suicide in my family and using was a way for me and my siblings to numb everything. I tried and did get off everything for months but then would get pulled back in. I would probably have categorized myself as 'functioning addict'. I worked full time. We have 2 adult daughters in their 20s and a 12-year-old son. My husband didn't really know what was going on.

      October 18th, 2020, I took more Oxycontin in one day than I probably ever had. It was spread out during the day but it was 7 pills i.e. 105 mg or more? I woke up the 19th with vertigo. I was afraid I had a stroke or something. After gathering myself, I figured no stroke and I had one other instance a year prior with vertigo waking up and it never happened again so I thought that's what happened, it was another one off. I was wrong. I ended up seeing my PCP 10 days later and had BVVP (benign positional vertigo). I was given Meclizine and ordered for physical therapy. In between those 10 days somewhere I developed a slight ringing in my left ear and mentioned it casually to my doctor. I think at this point I thought whatever, physical therapy/Meclizine would resolve it, so I just carried on. 2 weeks into it, the ringing became louder and louder until I could not sleep and then I could hear it everywhere no matter what. I probably made it worse because at this point I started smoking cigarettes again after not in a decade and drinking more just to deal. An ENT put me on a short dose of Prednisone and it not only didn't help but made me worse. I had a complete breakdown the week of Thanksgiving and drove myself to the hospital at 5 am after not sleeping for 2 days. They gave me Ativan and sent me home with a small Xanax script. I went to several ENT's and then had an extended audiogram and my hearing was fine for my age with it sloping off after around 13-14 kHz. My left ear had a tiny difference from the right but what they still considered normal.

      I had taken 2 months off work on disability not being able to function. My job for 20+ years has consistently been phone work in Fraud recovery, banking, insurance and real estate. It's difficult to work if you can't hear people over the high pitch screech, although my hearing is technically 'fine'. I drank wine heavily for about 3 months and popped Klonopin a few times a day. I went to physical therapy for my vertigo and dizziness which finally cleared up about 2 and a 1/2 months later. Cried every day for those months wondering how I could live any more and suicide was constantly in my thoughts. I snapped out of it and thought I'd try fighting instead, at least give myself a shot. I have been through a lot of horrible shit in my life and fought through that so why the hell not try now? Joined an online group found on YouTube and started a program you are all probably familiar with but won't mention by name here. Changed my diet and lost 50+ lbs. During lockdown I was drinking, eating shit and had put on 35 lbs in early 2020 before tinnitus happened.

      7 months in and I still had screeching tinnitus so loud I could hear at the pool outside with the kids splashing and screaming. I'd tell my husband it was bad and I'd go Benadryl myself to sleep at 6:30 pm or as early as possible to escape. I found some friends in this group and started texting, calling, sharing and helping each other as we all could understand this new hell we were in and what helped and what didn't.

      Flash forward almost a year in and I had researched everything possible. I reached out to a clinical trial and I was surprised I got in. I was still struggling badly with my sleep this entire time and I'd wake up every 2-3 hours at night and have to drug myself back to sleep with Benadryl or Hydroxyzine. I tried my best to not take ADs or anything else and so while I am telling this I might mention they tried to prescribe everything to me and I'd fill it and not take it as I was scared making it worse. I was prescribed Zoloft, Nortriptyline, Seroquel, Trazodone and more. I received the clinical trial drug and oddly my sleep improved shortly after. I was able to sleep 5-6 hours which helped. Did the tinnitus lessen? I still am not sure. I do know that improvement is that I can't hear it outside so much or driving sometimes and before that I could hear always over those things. I have spikes still and sometimes I can still hear driving or outside etc.

      So, I am here and I don't want to be. I held off posting anything because that would mean I am here stuck in this hell. The noise has changed a lot during this year. It went from high pitch tone to white noise machine in my entire head to hissing noises to tinkering bells in the distance. I still have spikes when the weather changes or something else happens? I hope and pray it continues to go down and eventually just hear at night or better yet go away completely. I also pray the research catches up for this horrible ailment.

      I started donating to some of the research and the podcasts. I have listened to every Tinnitus Talk Podcast and research video out there.

      I am probably leaving a lot out from the 14 months, there are a lot of different therapies and supplements I've tried in this time. I also caught COVID-19 just 3 months ago but was asymptomatic. My biggest fear was if I did catch it it would increase or undo the healing so far. It didn't thankfully.

      Just pushing on as best I can at this point. I wish healing for everyone here with me.
       
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    2. ajc

      ajc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2002; spike 2009; worse 2017-18
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music - noise damage
      @LostinTX, what a wonderful introductory, thanks for being so honest. You will get better! Can I ask what clinical trial were you in?
       
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    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      LostinTX
      Not amused

      LostinTX Member

      Location:
      Arlington, TX
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      poss ototoxicity/unknown/BVVP diagnosed first then tinnitus
      Thank you. I'm sorry, I would rather not say what trial it is until it is over as I don't want to sway anyone's opinion on getting into the trial or not. I read long threads here about it and saw people not do it based on what other people said. I will go into detail a bit more once the trial ends. I did a lot of my own research before making the jump, which was scary but I had nothing to lose at that point I figured.
       
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    4. Brian Newman

      Brian Newman Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Shooting/loud noise
      Good, thanks for your story. Most of us know which one it was, but let’s keep it like you said, it can definitely affect the trial results. A lot of us are glad you didn’t say because many drugs have failed in the past because of people blabbing about the trial, then everybody reads it and it affects the placebo participants. I am glad you are feeling better and let’s hope these drugs make it to market!
       
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