20 Years, Progressively Worse, VA Rated Me, but There's More...

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by NorCalWoodworker, Feb 4, 2015.

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    1. NorCalWoodworker

      NorCalWoodworker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/1995
      Hi Folks,
      I have tinnitus. For many years I did not notice unless I was in a very quiet place, but it was actually always there. Over time it did get worse, but always, always constantly there. Finally met another T sufferer, also a Veteran, and he explained to me that he filed a claim for his T and after the second round, he was granted a 0% rating, which always baffled me... but, I began to talk to some others with T and especially Veterans who flew during their service. I was an in-flight weapons system/avionics technician and was regularly exposed to noise - lots of noise, loud noise.

      It took me 2 rounds as well and I actually was rated at 10% from the VA. But, that is the maximum, so here I sit, going to my doctor for what appears to be adult ADD/ADHD and he has recommended I pursue the connection because he's had a few patients now, after much searching and consternation, find that they have determined a direct connection of ADD/ADHD and T.

      I sleep horribly, and have only experienced more and more trouble with concentration, ability to even read a paragraph without losing my focus, and several other serious issues. Including trouble at work at the past 4 jobs.

      It's hard and I am glad I have found this place because it is always good to be able to learn and share our individual and collective stories about T.

      ~ Peace (and always wanting quiet...)
      Jim
       
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    2. Ricky81
      Worried

      Ricky81 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      July 14, 2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Assault/Contusion/Ear Infection
      Thanks for your service.
      How loud is your T now?
       
    3. HalloweenScreamQueen
      Cheerful

      HalloweenScreamQueen Member

      Location:
      Washington, DC US
      Tinnitus Since:
      I was about 12 YO
      Thanks for your service Jim. I've had T since puberty. None of the docs know why it happened as I wasn't exposed to any drugs or acoustic trauma. I've even tried going to Gallaudet University to see if they could figure it out or at least help me figure out how to mask it. No go, but I did find out that I have a mild hearing loss in the speech range.

      It's frustrating, sometimes depressing, and always a PITA, but you can learn to live with it in your own way. One thought, make sure you always remind your physicians about your T when they are prescribing new meds. I found out the hard way that I'm sensitive to some meds that are supposed to be only marginally ototoxic. Now my internal noises are even louder.

      Welcome to the group! Cheers, Kelly
       
    4. nills
      Barefooter

      nills Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Belgium
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      acoustic trauma
      Hey Jim,

      welcome to the forum ... it`s a good place to to vent our frustration. Not through words directly but just reading about it and feeling something is done to help us..

      Can you explain more about the ADD/ADHD connection please. I myself was `diagnosed` with ADHD when I was 7. I`m alot more quiet and composed now ... bording on silent and depressed actually :) because of this damn T. But let`s say this as a phase in a healing proces. I don`t take any meds. or anything. I just quietly wait till they find a cure and than I will jump on it.

      Goodluck!
       
    5. NorCalWoodworker

      NorCalWoodworker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/1995
      Hi Ricky81,
      You are so very welcome - it was my pleasure and an honor!!
      Honestly, I am not sure how to measure how loud it is except to maybe compare it to what it was like 5 or 10 years ago I guess? If 1 is so low that you barely notice it except in very, very quiet places, and 50 was so incredibly loud that it would take very loud white noise or other cover sounds, I would say that it is now around 35? Very unscientific I know, but that is just what was floating around in my mind's eye as I thought about it. Basically, I hear it all the time and being anywhere quiet I am horribly annoyed by it, I get short(er) tempered than normal and have difficulty concentrating from minute to minute.

      Hi HalloweenScreamQueen (Kelly),
      You are so very welcome - I would do it again and again - it was a great time in my life - even knowing I would end up with T and a back injury that was small then, but began the process of 20+ years of worsening back pain and problems until finally a disc basically broke in 1/2 and crushed my left sciatic nerve. I would do it all again.

      Interesting about the hearing loss - I too have some, though not as much as expected for the work I did around and in the aircraft.

      Over the years I've found that I can create an environment that helps mask the T sometimes and that has helped, but going to sleep is by far the hardest part of every day for me. I have not had any side effects from meds that I can recall, but I take very little of any OTC or Rx meds, but that is very good advice.

      Hi Nills,
      Thanks for the welcome and I agree, venting is GOOD! :) Reading others stories and experiences, coping mechanisms, etc. has been a great relief to know there are many ways to try and combat the T.

      I am only learning about the ADHD as I only learned that I met 7 of the 9 criteria for inattentive ADHD - there are 3 main categories, inattentive, hyperactive and combined. I am a dead-ringer for inattentive. As a child I was not the kid they called a "spaz" or hyper, but I was the kid who memorized stuff like crazy, especially numbers, patterns and stuff like that. My grades were good and I was fine until high school. I was actually fine there too, just horribly bored. The boredom was because I was in advanced classes since 1st grade, then it was called Mentally Gifted Minors in California. In high school the program was defunded, so I got there and was suddenly learning math that I learned in 5th and 6th grade! Same for English.

      The potential contribution of T to ADHD is that even when you can't "hear" the T, your brain and subconscious can actually hear it and it can distract and derail you when you don't even know it! There is not a lot of solid evidence, but I have found other Veterans cases online where they got rated because the T, by itself, can affect your ability to work, relationships, sexual performance, family life, ability to engage in hobbies and recreation that you like, depression, poor short term memory.

      Anyway, as I learn more about the connection I will gladly share it, especially if it takes me down the road of getting the VA to consider my connection also service-connected, aggravated by the T.

      Peace (and quiet - someday...) :)
       

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