A Success Story About Myself to Encourage... Err... Myself

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by JohnK, May 21, 2019.

    1. JohnK
      Busy

      JohnK Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/26/2015 (habituated) 5/13/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxicity and/or stress
      Hi all,

      This one might be odd because I am writing this recovery story more to reassure myself than anyone else--but if it can be of benefit to others, all the better. I am currently suffering from a relapse of tinnitus and gearing up for the long, hard struggle of [re-]habituating to it, and so it is time to remind myself that life as I knew and loved it will come again. How do I know this? Because I already did it before.

      In fall 2015 I was having some health issues due to a bad reaction to Cipro I had taken in May (unrelated but pro tip: never take fluroquinolones), was the most stressed I'd been in my life because of those health issues, and wound up taking some antibiotics (doxycycline, on the crackpot theory it was actually Lyme disease) and woke up 3 days into the course with a super high-pitched (~13 kHz) ringing in both my ears. The sort of ringing that's so high-pitched you hear it over pretty much everything.

      The ringing never went away.

      Was it the antibiotics? Was it the stress? Was it something else entirely? I'll never know (but that didn't stop me from beating myself up over it for months).

      I was already pretty miserable due to the ongoing Cipro issues, but when tinnitus came along, the floor fell out. I entered into deep depression. I was barely eating or leaving the house, dependent on my white noise app, sitting in a toxic stew of anger, regret, shame, fear, and of course, the relentless and inescapable ringing.

      Not surprisingly, I lost my job and I lost my then-girlfriend (cruelly, both in the same week).

      I won't lie and say that's the moment I turned my life around--far from it. No, I did what I didn't even think was possible: sink even deeper into despair.

      I remembered telling my family "I'm not suicidal, but I don't want to be alive anymore".

      Eventually, I got a new job in a new city/country (London) and moved to start my life all over (hello neuroplasticity boost). At some point, the tinnitus ceased to bother me, and I ceased to hear it. It was always still there if I listened, but why would I? The only time I sometimes heard it was as I was getting into bed, and even then after a moment my brain wouldn't care and I would cease to hear it. I don't even have memories of places or situations in which I heard it because I was neither listening for it nor hearing it. Quiet waiting rooms, even sitting in a silent bathtub, I spent 99.9% of my time not hearing tinnitus, and 100% of my time not thinking about tinnitus. I had my life back. A month ago I realized I hadn't used the white noise app in "years" and uninstalled it in a moment of triumph (even if fate would have that triumph prove to be short-lived)

      And life went great. I've been in London for 3 years and they were the best 3 years of my life. I was able to succeed in my job and find the love of my life whom I recently married.

      I was, for all intents and purposes, cured. And yes, I believe habituation IS a cure. I could care less if some stupid squad of neurons is blaring on "YOU HAVE TINNITUS", as long as the rest of my neurons are politely ignoring it (like how everyone at the dinner table ignores crazy racist Uncle Pete at Christmas or something). It's really getting into philosophical territory like a tree falling in the woods but nobody hearing it...if I have tinnitus but don't hear it, do I for any useful purpose have it? No. That's what true habituation is. It's real, and it's spectacular.

      ----Act II----

      Now, unfortunately, after a different health issue, lots of stress, and overdosing on otomize ear spray (why on earth to they take neomycin and put it directly into ears?? :mad:) I find myself once again with bilateral tinnitus caused by ototoxicity, stress, or both--this time at an even higher-pitch (~14 kHz, it's so high I have difficulty nailing it down with a tone generator because the speakers start getting wonky around that point).

      I am once again in a phase of misery and despair, but taking solace in everyone's success stories once again, and now I can add my own recovery story to the list. I hope someday to write a second (and really, really have no need for a third!;)). While I plan on re-habituating (hopefully more quickly this time around between experience and the more proactive BTS method), I'm encouraged by developments in regenerative medicine and neuromodulation.
       
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    2. StubbyJ

      StubbyJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      05/02/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud Noise Exposure
      Hilarious, but NOT so hilarious I'm going through a major spike as well my man. Started yesterday with pain, pain, pain then spiked today in both ears. My left is far louder than my right. Very hard to ignore it. The tone is very encompassing if it makes sense. My emotions are just as yours .5 freaking and .5 positive married with experience. Hopefully these spikes will be short term. Up until now I was decent with deciphering them, but this one is different; until now the left only spiked, now it's both. It my be the cyclobenzaprine I took for the mentioned pain. Finally broke down and took something. It was the first time in 2 years. Guess it was a bad move. I keep telling my self it's only noise and to hear through it, not in it.

      Good luck my friend.
       
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    3. PaulFi

      PaulFi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stress/Medication
      I'm similar boat John. 6 months in now
       
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    4. Candy

      Candy Member Benefactor Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unidentified
      @JohnK I’m glad you’re enjoying London, what amazing steps you took despite your tinnitus. Your brain has a good track record of tuning it out, so that’s promising. Don’t think the meds could have done much, stress more likely. I had a stress related spike in the year which sorted itself out BTW.

      I’ve never been as habituated as you. But have had a fair amount of time where things were ok and didn’t hear it for good parts of the day, didn’t care for the rest of the day.

      Following a short stay at party last week, bang a spike in spite of protection. I do know that the intensity is overall higher, don’t know if it’s the anxiety or the actual noise (as I was worried before even going). The next day a mild cold. Anyhow now super alert to it, hypervigilant even on the days it’s been slightly lower. Then you get into the cycle of self blame, fear, trying to remember how you screened it out a couple of weeks before etc.

      I had stopped visiting Tinnitus Talk after a muscular injury and then decided to keep it going for a while, it was six months. I fully intended to give back to Tinnitus Talk in some shape or form but was having some me time and needed to be positive as much as possible for the kids' sake.

      Anyhow here we go again. Hopefully my meltdown will only last a few weeks this time. It has to. I have lots of stuff planned!

      I’m hoping you get back on your feet soon - big hugs to you and all on this thread.
       
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    5. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      @JohnK

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I think habituation should happen a little faster the 2nd time. At least in my case, which was noise induced, the habituation after a second noise event, the alarm clock going off right next to my ear, I found that even though I spiked something fierce, the tinnitus went down quite a bit faster that the first.
       
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    6. Dginobile

      Dginobile Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, Satan perhaps?
      I completely agree that habituation IS a cure. I have experienced it myself, I’m not 100% but I’d say 70% of the time I don’t think about the screaming in the center of my head, my story is so similar to yours from when it first came on. I believe you will habituate again, hang in there ❤️
       
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    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      JohnK
      Busy

      JohnK Member

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/26/2015 (habituated) 5/13/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxicity and/or stress
      Thanks all! I think you're right that habituation is easier the second time. I've already progressed from the "kill me" phase to the "get on with it" phase. Just started my new job at a large social network and it's keeping me busy enough to be distracted into some moments of silence.
       
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    8. Chris Holland
      Movie buff

      Chris Holland Member

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      November 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Life
      Hi Guys,

      Can I tag along in this thread haha? Same here, tinnitus now for about 18 months, not bothering me for about 6 months. Was doing great, barely heard my tinnitus during the day anymore, am in the midst of starting my own company and have met the love of my life. About 3 - 4 weeks ago my tinnitus spiked and if I can pinpoint a reason it might’ve been a mix of stress and loud noise exposure. Not entirely sure though ...

      Anyway back on the habituation train it seems with emotions from feeling severely depressed to I can do this I did it before let’s get on with life again. As to my tinnitus sound, left ear 8 kHz pure tone with some sort of mosquitoish bastard peeping in, right side more of a vacuum next door type sound. I can mask it with white noise but I bloody hate white noise so I guess that’s not really an option.

      Let’s hope this time around it will take me less than a year or maybe it will subside again to some point. At least I’m not panicking anymore, I guess that’s progress.

      Thank you for sharing your story, as fucked up as it is kind of feels a bit comforting I am not alone in this.

      Best,

      Christian
       
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    9. Chris Holland
      Movie buff

      Chris Holland Member

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      November 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Life
      Ok so my tinnitus seems to be back to baseline (knock on wood). If I were to pinpoint a reason for the spike it was probably being overtrained and over exhausted. My tinnitus usually spikes a bit when I'm tired and I just now realised that I was completely pushing myself over my limits again. Should've learned the first time around and I am definitely going to pay closer attention to my body and rest from now on.

      Anxiety, stress, exhaustion, alcohol, lack of sleep and negativity definitely can cause tinnitus to rear it's ugly head!
       
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