Advice for Newbies

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by dudeguywithstuff, Jun 7, 2016.

    1. dudeguywithstuff

      dudeguywithstuff Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      A couple of months ago, I got an ear infection which I'm still trying to figure out whether has caused me the kind of tinnitus that everyone on this forum has been dealing with. After only a few weeks of the condition, I would wake up in the morning and listen so closely to my ears and try to figure out if I really have what everyone else in this forum has. I'm about 7 weeks into this ear infection, and while I had mornings where I swear I was good and beyond whatever was bothering me, I also have to admit that I've heard a noise in my ear for years now and just basically put it behind me.

      Like 4 - 5 years ago, I got this really odd intermittent noise after an ear infection I got after an adult party at an indoor water park that put so much water in my ear that left me feeling like there was still water left when I was gone. For the next few months, I noticed in pure silence that I got this intermittent noise, kind of like a whhhooooOOOT, every 4 - 5 seconds. It really bugged the shit out of me for a few months, but I eventually just got used to it? Maybe? And then after probably 4 - 5 months, I just stoppped giving a shit about it. I think I might have noticed it occasionally, but I might have thought about it seriously about once every 2 - 3 months, if that gives you an idea about how well habituated I got to it without even really making a serious effort to see therapists or do CBT or whatever.

      Well then I got an ear infection 2 months ago and I about lost my shit because I listened to that This American Life episode in the meantime where a guy explained about the disease of tinnitus and how he dealt with it for 10+ years and spent $75,000+ on it. I knew for a long time what it was, and tinnitus quickly became my most feared disease after I heard the episode, moreso than alzheimer's, or heart disease, or least if you get any of those things, you just die, and you don't have to try and figure out how to deal with a horrible condition for 40 - 50 years. I've had pretty bad anxiety for, well, most of my life, and well before this happened, I felt like I made a conscious decision never to try and give birth to a new human being because of how humans could come down with conditions so horrible that it may even be best for them to have never been born in the first place. I have not given birth to any human being, and even before what has happened to me, I feel like my life experience just reinforces my opinions. Tinnitus is the most fucked-up condition I have ever heard of in my entire life, and this condition alone prevents me from ever wanting to give any human being the potential to ever contract it.

      But yeah. I got this ear infection. And in the initial onset, I got tinnitus. To be honest, over these next few months, it would, for times here and there, go away. Generally it seemed to be gone when I was waking up next to my girlfriend instead of waking up on my lonely nights in my own bed when I tend to focus much, much more on my condition. But I still have this really weird intermittent squeak noise which I've had since that ear infection 4 - 5 years ago, and even though I got so used to whatever that was, I'm so worried that this recent infection made it worse and I'm really struggling with dealing with it. I love the absolute shit out of my girlfriend who deals with so much anxiety of her own, and I'm worried that my own shit is getting in the way of that. For reference purposes, I'm 31, and she's 29. Just in case you thought we were just some young punks who just graduated from college. Nope. We've got some life experience. :)

      But anyway. I've already figured out how to deal with it to a certain degree. Honestly, the most helpful thing to me has been the realization that our lives here on Earth, lives that I feel, based on my utter lack of religious faith, are completely pointless, can be best used as benefits to those who are truly in need. I went to college and got myself an engineering degree, and I made lots of money over the decade I spent in it. I also didn't do jack fucking shit for anything that matters, as would anyone with an engineering degree say, if they were being honest with themselves. I feel like my life matters when my time spent actually helps another person, and I feel so strongly about this that I have a hard time really justifying any of the bad feelings I might have about my own tinnitus. Oh no, I have a sound in my ear? Does that really outweigh the fact that my own smart mind can solve the health problems of others (that don't necessarily have to do with tinnitus)? I mean look at how many people drown just trying to escape ISIS right now. Are us tinnitus sufferers really saying that we are so preoccupied with our own problems that we can't help people whose lives are so terrible that they're literally crossing hundreds of miles of open sea just to escape what they have?

      Anyway, I've written a lot, but there's still a lot I want to say. So let me summarize a few points.

      1) An ear infection is actually NOT SUPER LIKELY to give you PERMANENT tinnitus. I know that's hard to believe since when you google "ear infection tinnitus", the top result is "new at this. tinnitus due to an ear infection", a thread from this very forum, and then you quickly realize that this dude got a full-blown case of tinnitus and then probably very quickly associate your own ear infection with his experiences. But I've done tons of research on this, and actually, ear infections are usually pretty unlikely to give you long-term tinnitus. I don't have exact numbers for you, but I guess ultimately I just hope that ear infection sufferers read this and think "oh, okay, just because I have tinnitus now doesn't necessarily mean I will have it forever." Based on all my extensive research, this seems quite likely.

      2) TELLING PEOPLE THAT THEIR SYMPTOMS ARE LONG-TERM IS CRUEL. Is it truthful? Maybe. But how the fuck do you know? If someone says something along the lines of "I've had tinnitus for a month; is it going to stay forever?", and then you say "well, probably, yes", do you, at the very least, understand how devastating of a comment that is? In the modern age of healthcare, we are used to the idea that a health condition is either treatable or will just kill you. This is literally the only condition I know of where there isn't a cure but is so daunting that it scares the fucking shit out of anyone who contracts it, and knowing that, how on earth could anyone possibly feel good about saying "odds are you're probably going to have to deal with this for the rest of your life"? Do you not realize the devastating effect of such a comment?

      And to start a new paragraph, it seems like the important thing to remember here is HABITUATION, and I cannot fucking believe how little people here seem to give to it. Hasn't anyone thought about the fact that 10% of America has this condition (according to the ATA and the CDC (who states it as even worse)), and yet most Americans don't even know what the fuck tinnitus is? Doesn't it strike anyone as odd that a "disease", or whatever it is you want to call tinnitus, affects 1 out of every 10 people, and yet the average citizen knows so little about it that they didn't even realize it could happen to them? DON'T YOU THINK THIS IS THE ULTIMATE SIGN OF HOW WELL PEOPLE ADAPT TO THE CONDITION OF TINNITUS????? Is there any better explanation of such a thing than habituation, and the ease by which most tinnitus sufferers come to it? Why doesn't this forum make a way bigger deal of the fact that most people who come down with tinnitus will habituate to it without needing a support base to do so? I'm not denigrating the fact that this forum exists; I just think it's worth pointing out that 36 million Americans have tinnitus, and yet you see far fewer than 36 million people sign up for this forum. :)
      • Hug Hug x 1
    2. i.m

      i.m Member

      The "Lack of English" Land: Italy
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      For me: Aspartame Poisoning. For Ent: L: TMJD / R: Dunno
      T is silent for a non-sufferer. It doesn't kill, It doesn't spread its "action" like a virus and it is not a disease. For me these three factors are the main barrier for a real cure.
      • Agree Agree x 1

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