Back to Silence

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by I who love music, Dec 7, 2014.

    1. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      I like seeing your updates.
      Hey Deb, negative responses are OK too. Don't force yourself to respond positively if you don't feel that way. But if you're actually having happier responses, that's GREAT!!! And watch in the near future as the number of responses fades. You're doing it!!! And I'm excited for you.

      I used to assist a speech therapist and he told me in the training session, that stuttering in itself is one thing, but when the stutterer becomes aware he's doing it it creates another problem. I think it's called secondary stuttering or something. Apparently the feelings that come with this make the stuttering worse, or harder to live with. Feelings of anxiety and other bad stuff. Sound familiar?

      What we're battling here is NOT the tinnitus, folks. It's the awareness of it and the bad feelings it gives us.
       
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    2. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      UPDATE:

      I have to confess, when I come to this forum and start typing I am well aware of my tinnitus. But I don't care anymore. The BTS method has stomped my tinnitus.

      If you guys look back in my posts, there was a time, from about Oct '14 to Dec '14 when I ducked out of the forum, thinking that I better do everything I could to not hear it. But of course I'm back and I've learned that by coming here it strengthens my own attitude and keeps me doing the method whenever my tinnitus is intrusive.

      And I'd like to report that it's been a few days since I had to respond to my tinnitus. I live a fun life of music, rolling the windows down in the car and letting the wind hit me... etc.

      Life wasn't so good 13 months ago.
       
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    3. MCK Trader
      Cowboy

      MCK Trader Member Benefactor

      Location:
      West Texas
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      @Zug,
      Howdy -- I'm 72 plus, type 2 diabetic - 5 times a day insulin self-injections - for 17 years; spasmodic & torticollis dystonia (google for info) for 45 years; colon cancer & surgery Dec 2011, followed by 6 months chemo in 2012; and, heart attack March 2015 - two stents implanted; but continue to experience HBP. Quite weak physically and have ED without ability to complete sexual relations with my wife of 46 years. Significant intrusive tinnitus since May 2014. Without a doubt, currently, tinnitus alone has completely and adversely re-ordered almost all parts of my life, but not our martial relationship! A part of our marriage vows were, "in sickness and in health, for better or worse..."such is the way we live everyday.
      I believe in IWLM's methodology and pray that you have caring family/friends who will come along side you with ongoing ministering spirits.
      MCK Trader
       
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    4. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      Today a professional told me why the BTS method works. He said it's simply a way of moving the fearful thoughts of tinnitus from the amygdala "fight or flight" area of the brain to the cortex, where logic dictates.

      brain_zpsxjvawey8.jpg
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      UPDATE:

      I spent about 5 hours in my car yesterday. Spent about 3 hours in quiet offices. At the end of this busy day I just relaxed in my Lazyboy for a few hours at night. Did not respond to my tinnitus once.
      I didn't respond because I didn't hear it.
      This method gets better and better.

      Please keep at it.
      Don't judge your tinnitus by its sound.
      Judge your improvement by the number of responses, good or bad.
      When it seems difficult, keep at it. These difficult times are when you have to show tinnitus who's boss. Refuse to listen to it. Tell yourself how you feel and get on with life. Today maybe you'll have 100 responses. I'll bet you a hamburger in a month your responses will be less than half of what they are today - or less.

      Sound good?
       
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    6. shrimp
      Balanced

      shrimp Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who knows
      Hey, new on forums, introduced myself a couple of weeks back in introduction forums. Basically got hit with tinnitus a few months back, suffered like hell at first, threw me into total despair. Have suffered from anxiety for years and easily catastrophize so tinnitus hit me like a disaster and I felt like my life was over. Affected my sleep, my job, everything. Walked around like a crazy person covering my ears at every single slightly louder sound, thought I was going to go insane. My tinnitus isn't that superloud or tonal (more like a white noise) but intrusive as it feels like my whole head is buzzing, my ears feel full and tight. Also as I've made notes about my tinnitus and anxiety I noticed a clear, no fail, connection to hormonal fluctuations. Gets way worse about once a month and then bothers me slightly less the other half of the month.

      I totally believe in this method because this is basically the same thing I've been doing and it does get better! I started doing a version where I just notice, try not to judge the tinnitus at all, just notice it, notice how I'm feeling about it and then move on in my thoughts. Also I try when I notice it before I respond emotionally to it to tell myself its a good thing. Try to tell my brain that the tinnitus is just a good thing because usually it hits me at its worst when I'm really tired and trying to relax. So now I'm trying to get my brain to just react to the tinnitus as a sign of being tired or relaxed nothing more. No 'my life is over I can't stand it anymore'. I don't let my brain go there anymore. Just take a minute at a time. Can I survive this right this minute? Okay, so let's do a minute, no more. One minute at a time.

      These are basically the same methods I've learned in dealing with anxiety. To notice it but not judge it, not to react just accept that its there but not try to run from it, distract etc just let it be what it is. Easier said than done both with tinnitus and panic attacks but it works for both. Same 'overexcitement' in the brain partly creating the problem and same cure. Meditation works the same way. Just sit and notice your body, the tinnitus, your heartbeat, level of anxiety etc and just let it be. Hard as hell, but worth it if you stick with it. Thanks to this I'm already responding MUCH less negatively to my tinnitus than a couple of months back.
       
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    7. RaZaH
      Cheeky

      RaZaH Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Reykjavík, Iceland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2012/04
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Benzo + loud noise
      I have been trying this as best I can, it seems to work on my better days... bad days not so much.
      When I wake up it's like I got driven over by a truck. There is no ignoring that... not yet at least.

      I am still trying this though :)
       
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    8. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Hey all: I lurk around on this thread from time to time. Someone mentioned Back to Silence sounds like TRT, whch is true somewhat. But TRT is a sound therapy as well. Back To Silence really sounds a lot like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which research has shown to be effective for many folks with tinnitus.

      And one thing TRT, CBT and BTS all have in common? You need to put them into practice on a daily basis and then give it some time to work its magic. Patience can be lacking sometimes when you are trying to work through tinnitus, but its critical.

      Regardless of what its called or what its similar to, I applaud @I who love music for so clearly articulating this method which has helped him, and brought relief to many others.
       
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    9. Phil-O

      Phil-O Member

      Location:
      Lancashire UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2015
      Hi @LadyDi
      You're absolutely right. My discipline is poor, and I lapse into bad habits too easily! Thanks. Phil
       
    10. Phil-O

      Phil-O Member

      Location:
      Lancashire UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2015
      @I who love music
      How do you resist the temptation to 'listen' if it's still there after a tinnitus response 'free' day? Bad habit syndrome! Also does the forum bring it to the fore?

      Thanks Phil
       
    11. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      I don't know how I resist the temptation. But I give credit to the method for taking that urge away.
      When I'm here on the forum I'm very aware of my tinnitus because I'm talking/typing about it. It doesn't bother me though, I know I'll be totally unaware of it when I log out. It's pretty amazing.
       
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    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      Had a weird thing happen today.

      I recently repainted the 4 steps and little porch in my garage. They're dry now, but a little slippery. I came ripping out of the house, slid, hooked my ankle somewhere somehow, fell, smashed my knee and hands on the cement floor. And laid there (in pain) laughing like a fool. My son thought I was dead then began laughing too. Oooh, it hurt. But I was laughing because apparently I've overtrained my brain with the BTS method - Strangely, my first thoughts weren't about my screwed up foot, knee, and hand... I kept repeating, "I fell, I'm cool."
       
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    13. Aya

      Aya Member

      Location:
      The Hague, Netherlands
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Betablocker
      Hi all,

      I have been following this thread since I found it on October 7 of this year, and started the Back to Silence method the same day. I didn't want to register to the forum or give any reaction in this thread until I knew if it could be a possible solution to my tinnitus.

      So, I have been acknowledging my tinnitus since that day and at first I just used my own responses to it, like: "I hear it. It has been tormenting me for the last 11 months and I want it gone". I did that whenever I was bothered by it (my responses varied) and on that first day I noticed a shift in awareness. Whereas in the beginning when I got it, I used to have full on panic attacks and took all kinds of tranquilizing meds like Oxazepam or Valium, but with this Back to Silence method I noticed on the first day that I could get a grip on the panic and the nerves it causes.

      It kinda feels like when you were scared of monsters under your bed as a kid, but instead of burying your head under the covers and shake till you fall asleep, you get out of bed and go look under the bed, only to find out that there's nothing scary.

      For me the Back to Silence method seems to put the tinnitus in the right perspective. Now, after almost 5 weeks, the tinnitus is still there, but it seems less intrusive and in the last two weeks I had 3 times that I didn't even notice it for 2 days in a row. I hardly take any tranquilizers anymore, maybe a quarter of one tablet a week or nothing.

      Soon after I started responding to my tinnitus with this method, I found that most of the times I couldn't really come up with a response other than: "I hear it, but it's just an insignificant sound, just ignore it", or what else to say, so I just started to do it my own way:

      Whenever it bothers me big time, I go up to my bedroom where it's quiet. I close the door behind me and stand there in the dark and quiet. I close my eyes, relax all my muscles and control my breathing. I take a big, slow inhale and I listen for the tinnitus and when I exhale, I say: "I hear it, but I am relaxed". I really try to relax when saying the word "relax". I repeat that like 5 or 6 times until I calm down. Then I go about my business.

      In this thread I noticed that most people also don't know what to say, but they are not magic words, as far as I'm concerned. For me personally it's the feeling that is attached to the activity of responding. I could be saying: "I love the tinnitus, I don't ever want it to go away", but in my heart I feel the exact opposite. For me what I feel is more important than what I say, which is why the 'Fake it till you make it' thing might work.

      Another thing I noticed, which can really stand in the way of getting the tinnitus under control, is one's character, one's discipline and one' understanding of what it is. I'm a person that needs to be able to control everything in my life, especially when it comes to my own person, so getting confronted with tinnitus was hard, but now that I seem to be on the right track using Back to Silence, I'm hopeful for the future. My life in the first 10 months revolved around that damn tinnitus. Now I feel I'm slowly getting my life back.

      Been to a TRT therapist before I discovered this thread but since I already read the book on TRT from Jastreboff and I seemed to grasp what needed to be done, he really couldn't help me. I am waiting on a wearable white noise generator but I'm thinking of not getting it.

      I do my own sound enrichment at night with an iPhone app I use called SimplyRain.

      Well, is my tinnitus gone yet? No. But for most of the time I can put it into perspective and see it for what it is. Sure, it spikes back up a couple times a week (sometimes for longer than a day before returning to base levels), but I don't let it control me anymore. Despite that, I won't forget that tinnitus is nothing more than a cowardess beast that preys on your weakness. The less power you give it, the less annoying it will become.

      I hope you all will find strength and peace.
       
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    14. amandine

      amandine Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      july 2014
      I mean who needs to listen for it - it is always there! So no having to go to a quiet room to ''listen for it''. And the panic is always there too!
       
    15. Steve
      Creative

      Steve Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      Sheffield, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Flu, Noise-induced, Jaw trauma
      I think in this sort of case you can try to actively train yourself to stop listening to it. If you use a masking-type sound; water, nature, whatever, you sit and have it so you can still hear your tinnitus and practise mentally fading the tinnitus out. Consciously work on it so you teach the subconscious that it can be done and you don't want to give it attention.

      Hijacking a little here but that's how I approach things and I feel it can work as a tool to teach yourself to fade the tinnitus out in your mind and begin to teach habituation. An active version of having WNG's playing all the time. The biggest issue is that you are focusing on the tinnitus and that increases the anxiety response, it's a vicious circle.
       
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    16. Hunszi
      Alone

      Hunszi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2007 (worsening in 2015)
      I know I`m very rude to say that, but those people who hear their tinnitus at just night or in a silent place or can mask it with a movie of some music, don`t really understands the true suffer what a few people have to bear all day long. Hearing the tinnitus for just a few hours a day... sorry to say that... but it`s a piece of cake.

      Some say that it`s louder when you focus on it. Well partially this is true...but loud means loud. If you can mask it with some noise than consider yourself lucky... very lucky. Because no matter how you perceive it in silent place that`s not loud... I think we speak about loud tinnitus when you crank up the volume of your TV let say 50-60% and you can still hear it. My problem with the bunch of success stories is that the large amount of people who says "I`m fully habituated now" was able to mask it somehow or just heard it in silent places.

      I want to hear or read success stories where the "patient" heard his/her tinnitus all day long, no matter what they tried... TV, music, maskers headphones etc. to give me hope that I can cope with this s*hit again.

      Sorry... I know I`m really negative right now, but just because I was habituated earlier so I know what I`m talking about. I`m not a person who don`t know what habituation is, and currently I`m just falling apart... after 7 years of "don`t care" state.
       
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    17. Steve
      Creative

      Steve Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      Sheffield, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      2003
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Flu, Noise-induced, Jaw trauma
      I'm one of them. I hear mine pretty much always but I don't have a hugely negative reaction to it and I don't feel depressed by it. Sometimes I do get irritated by it but that is generally when it reacts to sound and spikes or it feels particularly intense. On the whole however, bearing in mind it's been with me since 2003, I do alright.

      I often think "why don't you just p*ss off" but I don't think it in a way of not being able to cope.

      I don't think it's right to deride those who don't hear it all the time. In fact I was probably more distressed by it when I first got it and only heard it in quiet spaces. The psychological reaction and processing is a big element. I was prone to thoughts of "this is awful" "I've got a disability" "I won't be able to cope with this" and so on.... Those thoughts are self defeating and only serve to make you worse and more withdrawn, you'll never improve until you can get rid of them (in my opinion).
       
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    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      Here's an update.

      I seem to have hit a new plateau using the BTS method. Like I've said before, this method just gets better all the time. In the last few days I've been doing a lot of thinking about this method since I talked to a professional and he explained why it works.

      After 13 months of doing the method and having great success, it dawned on me that a year ago I made a serious choice to stick with this and stop responding to tinnitus the old way. It has actually changed my tinnitus, my perception of it, and the "habit" of properly responding to tinnitus has finally become my 'norm.'

      Please stick with it, and hang in there.
       
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    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      Let's try this,

      Think of this image when you want to respond to your tinnitus ...

      darkred%201_zpss9kbl9sq.jpg
       
    20. MCK Trader
      Cowboy

      MCK Trader Member Benefactor

      Location:
      West Texas
      Tinnitus Since:
      05/2014
      Has anyone noted this anagram, i.e., rearrange the same letters to form another word:

      L I S T E N = S I L E N T

      Cool, huh! Is such relevant when applying IWLM's BTS methodology? "I hear it, but I feel..."
       
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    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      UPDATE:

      The good and the bad.

      The good thing is, the BTS method is working great. My responses are WAY down.
      The bad thing is, I'm forgetting that I have tinnitus and I'm starting do stupid, loud things. I've been turning the car music up too loud. And I've been running my tools without ear protection, to name a few. Note to self: Don't be stupid.
       
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    22. Suzie

      Suzie Member

      Location:
      Milton MA
      Tinnitus Since:
      april 2014
      I've noticed a great change since I've been doing the Back to Silence method... I now realize that I haven't noted my responses! It works.
       
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    23. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      Challenge-

      I challenge anyone to sit on the other side of the dinner table, or
      turn the doorknob with your 'other' hand, or
      quit biting your nails, or
      stop smoking.

      Yup, habits are hard to break.
       
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    24. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      YES YES YES!!!
      That's how you do it.
      No response = No tinnitus.
      Keep up the G R E A T work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
       
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    25. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      UPDATE:

      In less than a week it will be the one year mark when I started this thread. I'm simply amazed at how well this method works. This year has been great. Hang in there everyone!! Most of my improvement was in the first few weeks / months. And now, strangely enough, I have to remind myself I DO have tinnitus so I don't get caught off guard in loud situations. Cool, eh ?
       
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    26. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Congrats IWLM for a wonderful and positive thread of success with your Back to Silence method. It is nice to commemorate its first anniversary. It is a effective strategy and simple to use. It is based on mindfulness and CBT even though you initially didn't know why it works so well.

      Mindfulness meditation requires bringing the feeling/sensation into awareness without judgement or adverse reaction, allowing it to be there and yet not reacting nor judging. This allows the brain to face the sensation without freaking out (which will cause the Amygdala to be involved and that will cause emotional response as the stimulus is interpreted as a threat). Instead the frontal cortex is involved in processing the stimulus as a normal response.

      When the same sensation is repeated to the brain and you get a habit of acknowledging it without emotional response (fear & anxiety particularly), then sooner or later the brain thinks the stimulus/sensation isn't a threat. With that the brain will slowly learn to fade out tinnitus from awareness and you don't even hear tinnitus most of the time. The absence of anxiety & stress also will bring in new vitality & enthusiasm for living. It is great that you took a proactive stance to share the BTS method and it has proven to help so many others. That is why I highly recommend your method to newbies at every chance. Great job, brother.
       
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    27. daniel1111
      Shitfaced

      daniel1111 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Amsterdam
      Tinnitus Since:
      12/12/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced, repeated exposure with loud headphones.
      My tinnitus started about a month ago, and after a couple of weeks I posted here and someone suggested I look into this method.

      I think it has helped me greatly.

      The best thing about it, is taking the focus off the tinnitus volume, pitch, basically the constant analysis of your tinnitus sound. This analysis makes your tinnitus worse and makes you notice it more.

      I'm not too sure about being completely honest with my emotional responses, sometimes it's healthier not to say "I hear my tinnitus and it makes me depressed". I would always add something to it like "I hear my tinnitus and it worries me, but I know it's going to get better and it's ok".

      I also added some kind of phrase to use as a mental block if I was going to measure my tinnitus.

      "Today my tinnitus is..."

      "...not to be measured!"


      I'm starting to habituate rather quickly with the help of this. I believe that I wll definitely habituate to it and be fine, something I didn't believe before.
       
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    28. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      UPDATE

      The Truth
      Today I got up early, it was really quiet around the house. My wife needed some extra sleep so I let her. Went to a restaurant for lunch. Not much talk, no music, pretty quiet. Had a quiet relaxing ride home. Sat around home tonight with the TV off. Pretty peaceful evening and day.

      It seems that tinnitus is a million miles from me. I don't even occasionally hear it, until I say "tinnitus" or come to the forum. This is really great. It's been over a year since I started the method. Oh, yes, when I hear it it's loud.
      And the truth is it's REALLY loud. When I hear it. And lately, I only hear it when I "summon" it up. It doesn't pop up out of nowhere anymore. It's just gone. This is another step that I NEVER thought was possible. Truly, I almost cannot believe it. And yes, at these times when I DO hear it I still do the self talk. "I hear it, I feel -whatever-.

      If you are doing the method, there's only one way. Acknowledge the tinnitus, state your feeling.
      Don't add stuff, don't modify the method, and DON'T give up because it works over time. How will you have success if you don't take the step each day? Please don't go down a side road. Keep on the highway.

      Hang in there. This works. Yup my tinnitus is LOUD. I don't hear it 99.9% of the time. The truth is that my tinnitus will never go away, I've had it too long. If someone were to ask me tomorrow if I have tinnitus, I would hear it. I would finish the conversation, then walk away and do the method and I am telling the truth - In one minute I would be back to silence.

      Happy New Year
       
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    29. Suzie

      Suzie Member

      Location:
      Milton MA
      Tinnitus Since:
      april 2014
      Hi @I who love music
      This method saves my life on a daily basis, thanks for the continued boost!
       
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    30. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      I who love music
      Cheerful

      I who love music Member

      Location:
      Michigan
      Tinnitus Since:
      mid seventies
      UPDATE:

      I saw a buddy in the grocery store just now. (I couldn't wait to get home and type this).
      The first thing he said was, "How's your tinnitus these days?" I said, "It means nothing."
      "Great," he said, then waved a bottle of ketchup at me, whatever that means. hehe
       
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