Are Math/Science/Programming an Important Part of Your Life?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Karl, Jan 24, 2013.

tinnitus forum
    1. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      It was sometime in late high school that I discovered how important science is to me. Religion has never really appealed to me, despite the fact I was raised going to church. My wife and I have met some wonderful people at church, but I still stew away in the pews. Growing up, especially as a teenager looking for answers about life, I always prefered numbers to words.

      Watching Star Trek (TOS) in the 1960's was a tranformational experience. The key show in that series was an episode about the "Hortas"- creatures on a planet that could eat rock, who were used by the miners to make tunnels. During the filming of that episode, William Shatner's father died, and Shatner took a leave of absence. With Shatner absent, Leonard Nimoy took the liberty of asking the producer, Gene Roddenberry, if he could try something new with his character Spock.

      And so, one of the greatest acting scenes in TV history ever happened: Mr. Spock reading the mind of a Horta. "My children! My children! Dead! Loneliness! Death!" - or something to that effect, because the miners had "killed" the mother Horta's eggs in one of the chambers they were mining.

      This blew my 16 year mind, and it still does. Until then, I didn't even know if I liked the show! In that one moment, Star Trek was transformed into an entirely new level. It was absolutely cool, with modern mythological lessons about how people act. It was inspirational, it has ethics, it offered a future world that was limitless.

      Mr. Spock may be one of the reasons I became so attracted to science, engineering and programming. He was so logical. To me that is very cool. Science is very cool. A structure either stands or fails, based on the laws of science. You can't bullshit gravity - it always wins in reality.

      So, here I am today, age 61 (Reminder: Change photo to current me). Still designing structures, using science and math. Still programming a lot. Still solving equations. Albert Einstein, once said that he would never got old, because he never lost his curiosity about things.

      But, this tinnitus puts a real drain on me. Somedays it can be hard to concentrate. This may be just about my biggest concern about tinnitus, that it makes things more difficult. Sometimes I look at stuff I did before tinnitus,... I just have to stop digging myself into a hole.

      It seems that a whole lot of people on this website are programmers, which is quite a remarkable coincidence. I wonder is this something that makes tinnitus more a problem to us than others?
       
    2. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      It could be the personality type thing? Would more programmers by Type A driven, perfectionist individuals?

      I get more than sad when I think of the projects I've done before T. The systems I've designed and written. Not even in a state to work now. T has taken that away and I used to get a lot of self-esteem from being good at my job. I have to stop myself thinking about it :(
       
    3. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Louise -
      I've recognized that you, click, petloy, erik, Dez Dog are programmers. There is great beauty in programming. I don't think programmers are necessarily "Type A", but they simply have an aptitude for writing programs. If a horse is born to run, it will run. Programmers are born to program.

      Programming requires concentration, which may be why some programmers would find "T" particularly annoying, I think.

      On the other hand, for yourself, getting heavily involved may be the best way to forget about the "T". Keeping busy is the best way to stop thinking about tinnitus. Quite places, doing not enough, are when "T" becomes a problem.

      This past year I've been writing a doctor in New York, asking him questions about how the ear works. I also complain about tinnitus. I was surprised that he has had tinnitus since he was 16. This doctor has been able to do incredible research without tinnitus impacting him at all.
       
    4. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      I know but the first thing that strikes me is what type/volume has he got? Its the type of my noise that is nasty. And of course I have got into a real state about it, getting 2-3 hours sleep at moment because of it, getting panic attacks.

      Just read the Jonathan Hazell replies that Erik posted and am going to have to do TRT. How Im going to retrain my thoughts on T when I despise it and feel like its going to kill me I dont know. The only way out though isnt it?

      Yes, programming has beauty but its the design of systems I like best. You really can make them things of beauty, full of functionality for the users.
       
    5. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Yeah, I agree the amplitude of the Doc's sound could be less.

      As hard as it is to believe, Jastreboff and Hazell say that the volume doesn't matter. With TRT, if the reaction can be controlled, then the whole T experience goes off to the side, like a hamster running around its cage. I know, it's difficult even for me to swallow! But someone on this website sent me a private conversation that TRT works for them after 18 months.

      I've had a programming business on the side for the past 22 years, for engineering firms. I'm addicted to it. My daughter also loves to program.
       
    6. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Do they mean that the volume doesnt matter as to whether you can control your reaction or not? I read a lot about TRT yesterday and it does sound like its best to see a professional to help you with it. There just arent that many. I'm not good with these mind control things either, mine's just rampant, hard to rein in!
       
    7. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      I agree, there don't seem to be many TRT people. I suggest that you call Johnathan Hazell's clinic, get something started. It would be great for you to have a counselor who understands this stuff.

      Another approach is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), with falls within the domain of psychology. The experiments of "Pavlov's dog" are classic CBT experiments. There could be many more CBT psychologists than TRT people. Some people say that CBT may be even more effective than TRT. Both approaches are similar: Behavioral modification. I'd say that TRT is sort of a subset of CBT.

      Whatever you do, you will need to trust the counselor, lose control, and let them tell you how to think. It may require a "willing suspension of disbelief", as they say.

      *********************
      Back to your job. I was telling my daughter about this.
      Can you explain what "the design of systems" involved?
       
    8. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      I recently started seeing a CBT counsellor via the NHS. I'm not impressed. Not at all. Its so difficult to find a good therapist.

      I've been on the TRT site and looked at the list of people who graduated from their school. All are at least one hour away from where I live and there arent many to choose from. I've fired off some emails to a few to check if they are practising it. There's probably little uptake because it takes so long, people need to be doing it for 18 months or more and I bet people arent willing to pay for a session every week for that long.

      About design of systems..... you get the business to tell you what they want to do operationally and then its down to you what the flow of the software is in terms of capturing data, screens, background jobs, reporting, audit informatino. I did a big project where a warehouse was installing an automated conveyor system to allow the returns into stock of media (DVD/CD/Books) from stores. It was up to me how to design the system that would allow the scanning of the goods, the booking to stock, the screens to allow the mapping of physical chutes to locations & types of product, the screens which directed to a particular chute that the goods should go into, to interface to the automated third party software and to control the closing and opening of the chutes and directing down the line for put-away. I also designed the system after that which allows the manual put-away of stock to particular locations. Its about making it user-friendly, slick and fully auditable so the users can see a history of everything that's happened. I dont think I've explained this very well. It was fantastic to watch all that software in action for real and the users finding it all easy to use. That was all pre-T. Couldnt get that level of concentration now.
       
    9. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      In the words of Spock: "Fascinating." You've explained it very well. Very, very cool.

      What type of career path led you into this field? I want to explain options to my daughter.

      *********
      There is someone who I've had email exchanges with who has successfully completed TRT. I will send you his name on the private conversation message board. TRT can be done over the phone.
       
    10. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Ok Karl, cool, thanks for that.

      We career path was very by chance. I left school at 16 as all of my siblings did (come from a very working class family). After some period of not knowing who I was and doing a couple of clerical jobs I decided computer programming sounded so clever andI wanted to have a go. I did a general certificate in Computing in Higer Education (the course was only about 5 weeks). But I realised that I took to it naturally. A bit later, completely by chance I was looking at jobs in a paper and saw a government sponsored training course for 3 months which covered 2 programming languages (Cobol and RPG) and Systems Analysis. I went for it and loved it. The company running the course got some candidates interviews at local companies and I was one of them. I started as a junior programmer in a software house when I was 25 (the company was JBA, now called GEAC or Infor). It wasnt planned, it just happened through my natural bent towards it and some luck. I loved it, the software development and analysis part of it. I always have felt like its problem solving, like solving puzzles. Enjoyable. I've always been passionate about it, sometimes to the annoyance of my colleagues as I wouldnt stand for it not being 100% right!

      Dont think that will have helped you explain options to your daughter as my path seems random. The important thing was a realisation of the love of it, straight away.

      It hurts bad to have lost all this.
       
    11. click
      Busy

      click Member Benefactor

      Location:
      West Cornwall, England, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/04/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure
      I know exactly how you feel Karl.

      Most days it's fine and I can still achieve what I used to before T but I do find myself stopping programming earlier (no more all nighters!) than I used to - I suppose I'm being cautious.. just incase brain overload can make T worse.

      My youngest son has just applied to do an MSc in IT but it's my eldest who's the true programmer - he lapped up me teaching him basic programming when he was 6 yrs old (on a BBC basic!) and hasn't stopped since - he's 30 now. Even though I've been doing it for a lifetime, he overtook me long long ago because he programs in really low level languages (he loves zeroes and ones :)) .

      I think there must be a programming gene that can be inherited :rolleyes:

      I hope your daughter finds a career path she enjoys. How old is she?

      Jane
       
    12. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Jane -
      I have two daughters. One is 19 at University of Michigan. The other is 17, will be at Michigan Technilogical University. Very good students.

      I'm gleening something from this conversation. I also am obsessed with programming. There all many parts to a program that must all has to fit together. When it fits together, it is a thing of beauty - especially if it's logic is "clean".

      But this ability to monitor how a program flows may cause that same person with tinnitus to constantly monitor their tinnitus. This ability may have actually caused the viscious cycle. If so, they need to recognize that their monitoring as counter productiive to geting better. No easy fix here.

      I sort of think that work is the best answer. Just keep busy, and say to hell with the tinnitus. Plow ahead. If you can fill your head monitoring a program, then your head time to monitor tinnitus. A good TRT therapist would be ideal to help in achieving the goal.

      When I'm at home, in the quiet, my tinnitus drives me nuts. So, I prefer to go to work, turn the fan on, and do my job. I'm at month 14. They say it takes about 18 months to habituate. I'm even thinking of just buying hearing aides, in lieu of habituating.
       
    13. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      I think its about liking programs/systems neat, tidy, ordered, modular, everything just right. Its quite perfectionist (if you're good at it) and a bit OCD. Thats how I am anyway. The worst type to get T. I feel like my body is now tarnished (not a strong enough word), a bit of it has gone wrong, its not 'perfect' anymore.

      You are right about work. I was better when I was working, though I was really, really tired. Thats the thing, if you dont sleep because of T then what good are you going to be the next day? I'm unfortunate that I'm self-employed and didnt get kept on at my last contract because the boss didnt like me having 3 hours off each week to see my Hearing Therapist. So to work now I'll have to start at a new company and the odds are high that itll be away from home (work on the AS400 is limited now). I dont feel able to cope with that, even though work would help my mind.

      I'm sure you know Karl that habituation is not a watched pot! If you can get the aids on a trial period then you've nothing to lose. They may work as well for you as they do for Carlover. If you get them do get the combination aids where you can also turn on white noise for masking. There are some aids where the audiologist can 'shape' the white noise to tailor it to your T so that its a really comfy sound. They could aid habituation as well as you'd be forgetting the T more and be more relaxed.
       
    14. daedalus

      daedalus Member

      Location:
      Brussels
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2007
      Well, i am not home and i don't feel like writing a lot now. I'll say more later. In addition, my computer ate my text and i have to start over. I shouldn't have installed linux mint 12 on my mother's laptop.

      I am a total and proud nerd. Maths and science are very important to me. Programming much less. Even if i had a commodore 64 when i was little. My "least mediocre" program was a solver of systems of linear equations by a method i didn't know was what we call in French "pivot de Gauss". Except i was using divisions instead of multiplications which was stupid. The commodore could perform reasonably well on 10X10 systems. The rest of my progs were crap.

      In engineering school, i liked the C programming course. But later i hated my guts out the object-oriented programming C++ classes. But i was already overwhelmed by real life problems and didn't think clearly anymore then. That's when tinnitus came.

      I like physics because i want to understand the world. I like theorical physics. I liked my quantum mechanics course the most. Engineering may seem a queer choice when one is into theorical physics but "pure" physicists are dirt poor and we have a rather good scientific background in engineering physics. One of our ancient alumni is Francois Englert. From the Englert-Brout-Higgs theorem which explains the masses of elementary particles. He's mechenical engineer but graduated in physics later.

      I am mostly a self taught person because my high school was one of the worst trash school of the kingdom. What i am aware i have retained from high school is how to insult people in arabic dialect.

      When i fist got tinnitus, i was unable to concentrate on any text bigger than a few lines. My mails were incoherent gibberish. I thought i was finished and i left school. Then i moved from my slum in Brussels to a quiet place outside the city. My stress levels went down drastically. Little by little i started to do things which asked concentration again. Long story short i now have a better concentration level than pre-tinnitus.

      Yeah, you read it right. Tinnitus is no more a major factor in my concentration. It did in the past. A lot. But the tincture of time has done his healing. So i wouldn't be too worried. You should get your concentration back with time. :)
       
      • Like Like x 1
    15. click
      Busy

      click Member Benefactor

      Location:
      West Cornwall, England, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/04/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure
      I think I'll start painting instead...
       
      • Like Like x 1
    16. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Impressive Daedalus. You've come far. Can I ask something? Has your T changed from the first until now?

      I think I had quite good concentration levels before T so maybe in time, if I can stop the absolute belief that this will kill me, I will be able to think straight again. I used to be able to work in a lot of noise, like other people's conference calls going on right next to me. I remember a guy I worked with a couple of contracts ago saying he was fed up of the Helpdesk phones and he couldnt concentrate when they rang and I thought, Crikey (translation 'Mon Dieu'), I havent even heard them.

      But, the T noise is a whole different ball game. THAT noise stops me dead, upsets me, makes me shake with fear, literally.

      I really should stop talking, sometimes I forget that this site has a worldwide audience.
       
    17. daedalus

      daedalus Member

      Location:
      Brussels
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2007
      My tinnitus loudness hasn't changed in the slightest bit. It never did. But my distress went down a lot.

      I can feel your pain. Losing my concentration, my mental abilities , was the worst thing that could happen to me. I was very preoccupied by that aspect of tinnitus. I was desperate. Also as a self taught person coming from a poor background i had come trough a lot of pain to achieve what i did so dropping out of university was the ultimate catastrophe.

      I noticed ameliorations little by little. after a few months i noticed i could read again, etc...

      I was living in an slummy neighbourhood and was under a lot of stress. Then i moved out of Brussels to the quiet place i live in now. I was using sleeping pills. I stopped after a few days. Now i sleep like a baby. At the beginning of my t i used to mask/distract my tinnitus a lot. Now i don't need it. I avoided silent places. Now i prefer silent places. At night i feel my tinnitus loud but loud ! I relax just fine and fall asleep quietly. I recently went back into reading. I read in silence surrounded by a wall of tinnitus sound. I concentrate just fine.

      The funny thing is i am still annoyed by external noises and need quiet places to study/read.

      When recently i attended a 4 hour math course i discovered i could work and concentrate better than pre tinnitus just because i have a quieter life now. It was an immense relief. I am far from ready to come back as a full time student but i think now i can resume my project even if no tinnitus cure is found.

      I did nothing special to get better. It went naturally. There is neurological research that show that tinnitus distress and loudness are poorly correlated. It is possible to hear a loud tinnitus and suffer very little. It is also possible to suffer a lot from a tinnitus which is not loud. Loudness was important for me at first. Much less now.

      Sorry, this is a disheveled post. I am between two trains.
       
    18. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Interesting Daedalus. You know that silence is bad for the auditory system though right?

      I could never anymore be in silence. Though I dont like being in noise either as I can hear 'IT' through noise like radio, TV etc.

      Mine has changed a lot, the noise has changed and the volume too. Its happening a lot now. Thats the scariest part. If it would just have stayed at one noise, one volume I;d be on the road to the holy grail of habituation by now :(
       
    19. daedalus

      daedalus Member

      Location:
      Brussels
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/2007
      Yeah i hear all that babble about how the auditory system "thrives on sound". Tell that to all animals who try to be as silencious as possible. I don't believe it. A lot of psychobabble is said about tinnitus because there isn't enough science on the subject yet. So the cranks have a field day.

      I am not sure at all a varying tinnitus is an obstacle to get better. Actually, i went better without even hoping to get better.
       
    20. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      deadalus -
      You are passionate about physics. Very cool. Did you know that Einstein flunked physics lab in college?

      Louise -
      True, "A watched pot never boils".

      The more I talk about my own tinnitus, it just seems obvious what the problem is: I have hearing loss, so I hear a hiss. That hiss is a signal sent from by brain to my ear to crank up the volume of the lost frequency. It's that simple. Dah.

      I may be able ot explain that simply to my doctor. But he's a busy guy, probably not interested.

      Eventually we each need to come up with our own explaination that makes sense to us. When we understand what is happening, then it becomes less threatening. If this is "what it is", we don't need to look for other answers. We can check that question off our list. One less thing to waste energy on.

      And if we trust what Jastreboff and Hazell say, to "stop watching the pot" so to speak - well that's really the mental trick. This requires self discipline. But if we can "stop watching the pot", the brain will adjust.

      Babies brain's adjust to tinnitus naturally. They don't know how to dwell on their mental state yet.
       
    21. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Its hard not to watch that pot isnt it though? :) Especially when it changes and you are trying to make sure its not something you are doing which is causing it to get worse :(

      Yes, the ones who dont watch the pot are the ones who get success. My Hearing Specialist said that he ignored his T completely and it took a lot of discipline to do so. It worked though. Got to fool the brain into thinking you're not bothered about this noise, then it drops interest in it and puts it into the background where you cant hear it. Bliss. The opposite is it'll bring it forward where you can hear it, because it thinks its important to you.

      I really feel the need to know the mechanism at play for me. Two people I've seen about it just wont have it why that's important to me. It will still help to drop that quest though as its just more attention on it.

      Yes, babies dont know how to attach meaning to it I guess - all the fears that come with an adult brain.
       
    22. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Chicago
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      It's one thing to understand the mechanics of something. We can look at someone playing piano and understand the mechanics. But it's another thing to experience playing piano. That requires practise and discipline.

      You will need to break down your tinnitus issues one-by-one until it fits within your own understanding. After demystifying tinnitus, the other step is recognizing and stopping triggered responses. It will take practice to ignore it, but others have done it. It's a matter of putting theory into practise.
       
    23. click
      Busy

      click Member Benefactor

      Location:
      West Cornwall, England, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/04/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Not sure
      I think that keeping busy for extended periods (still thinking about my T but without it being the focus of my attention) got rid of the extreme anxiety associated with my T. That, alongside believing that it will not harm me and that it will eventually go away altogether.

      Even though they don't make my T louder, anxiety and stress were my T's worst enemies because I was unable to cope as well.

      Once the anxiety has gone (although I still have a few bad moments!) that's when the rest of it kicked in for me... I could sleep so I could cope better. I was working so the stress of thinking I may not be able to had gone and the change of diet then seemed to be able to make a difference.
       
    24. Louise

      Louise Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Yorkshire, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      29/06/2012
      Yes Karl, others have done it. Thats my lifeline. If the noise stayed stable for long enough it would be easier to ignore.

      Yes Click, anxiety has had a major impact on my life. I needed the meds to help with that. I still have the will I work again fear and all the downstream fears that brings.

      Did you see that I've started taking Picamillon? So far I think its helping the anxiety. I think its a natural product (or more natural than meds at least).
       

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