Does Anyone Have Advice on How to Cope with Grade 5 Catastrophic Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by symbadawg, Oct 30, 2014.

    1. symbadawg

      symbadawg Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Hi my name is Bob and I was diagnosed in August with grade 5 (catastrophic) tinnitus. Today my T is back to a more tolerable grade 3 but soon, within days I expect, it will go back up to 5 and I will be laid out in bed pumping myself full of sleeping pills to try and sleep through it. My T actually started in August of 1994 when a grenade exploded too close. I lost all hearing for approximately 1/2 hour and when I did regain hearing I was left with a bad ringing in my ears for days. Eventually the ringing dropped off but was still noticeable in quiet places from then on. About 4 years ago the T started to get more noticeable and was attributed to all the workplace stress I was going through because of a workplace injury I suffered in 2003 which my employer was fighting, with the help of WCB no less, and I was diagnosed then with grade 2 tinnitus. Since that time, again mostly employer exacerbated, my T has worsened and this, in conjunction with the mechanical and chronic lower back pain I was suffering from, forced me to resign and take a disability pension from WCB even though I really did not want to stop working. I am now on a fixed income that's 85 percent of what I used to take home and I no longer have good medical coverage which, as you may have figured out, I need more now then ever. I also know that reducing stress and staying relaxed are two of the best things one can do to keep T at a manageable level but I find it so hard to do. I sure could use some advice on how to deal with this because I don't know how much longer I can take it......
    2. Uncle_Rocker

      Uncle_Rocker Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      A Pantera concert in 2000
      Hi Bob, I wish I had an answer for you. In another section someone mentioned something about severing a nerve from heat and it causing the blood flow near the ear to increase, lowering the T a bit. I think I'm going to look into that soon. I wonder if hypnosis can work.

      I know it doesn't help a ton, but we're here for you.
    3. awbw8

      awbw8 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Hi @symbadawg. I'm so, so sorry for what you're going through. That must be incredibly difficult and you've had such a long fight with it.

      Does your current health coverage cover any kind of psychological treatment? I know psychological analysis isn't going to cure anything with your T, but truly just having someone to talk to about it can give you a little relief and distraction instead of staring at the ceiling and listening to it. At least that was my experience. A caring psychiatrist can also help you manage the anxiety with meds if needed.

      Other than that, it's not everyone's cup of tea, but yoga helped me a LOT when I first had T and was just having panic attacks every other minute. It's what eventually got me off pills and going to sleep naturally. I'm a big fan of Kate Potters dvds. They are really peaceful, non-sweaty, easy-to-do (you don't have to be a pretzel) and effective. She talks about breathing and personally suffered with severe chronic pain for a long time, so her practice is almost made for people with issues like tinnitus.

      I know that's not much, but just take baby steps and don't give up. We're here for you!
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    4. symbadawg

      symbadawg Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Thanks for the response.................I agree it's nice to see that others are going through this and yes the military is paying the shot but they don't seem to have much info either. I was surprised to see just how little study has been done on Tinnitus. My case worker at Veterans affairs had no idea there was even such a thing as a Grade 5 (catastrophic). I know it came as a huge damn shock to me..................
    5. DebInAustralia

      DebInAustralia Member Benefactor Team Research

      Geelong, Victoria
      Tinnitus Since:
      I can only tell you what has helped me............dramatically!

      . stop monitoring
      .stop catastophising
      . stay connected to work/hobbies/friends/life
      . stay busy/distracted
      . do things that relax you and calm down your CNS. for me, its walks, meeting up with friends, creative activities, playing the piano, watching dvds, massages, exercise...
      . stay positive. surround yourself with positive and nurturing people

      . consider TRT/CBT/Sound therapies?
      • Agree Agree x 2
      • Winner Winner x 1
    6. symbadawg

      symbadawg Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      As long as I stay relaxed the T stays at about grade 3. What I'd like to know is if anyone has any advise on how to cope with it when it goes ballistic, full on, can't hear your own voice, screaming grade 5 (catastrophic). Right now 15 mg of Zopiclone gets me a fit full 4 or 5 hours of sleep which is better then no sleep at all. Some times an extra 15 mg is needed when I wake to help me sleep through the worst of it.......Not much of a strategy I know but the only one I've got right now.
    7. Larry OT
      No Mood

      Larry OT Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Volume, meds and motorcycles
      Mine goes grade 5.
      It's devastating. I try and force myself out to not be alone and being distracted helps a lot.
      As hard as it is to do that it makes me feel empowered over the pain.
      And it does hurt in so many ways.

      Sometimes I take lorazapan, but I try not to.White noise and cricket sounds help a little.

      Staying home and suffering makes it worse
      I know how bad it can be. I'm trying everything. Going to talk therapy next week, taking antidepressants now too.
      Stay strong,
    8. Dr. Charlie

      Dr. Charlie Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Yes, Bob, you can be helped. There is a close association between stress and the noise of tinnitus. Are you familiar with Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT?) It is a highly successful method to relieve fear, stress, and anxiety. Mr Gary Craig has a website with a free download that shows you the method. You can apply it yourself, at home. Once you relieve the fear (anxiety) associated with the noise of tinnitus, your brain will automatically begin to ignore the noise. This is called habituation. Good luck and God Bless you.
    9. attheedgeofscience
      No Mood

      attheedgeofscience Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Head Injury
      Dr. Charlie to ensure that members see your posts, you can quote them like I did above, or you can quote them partially, or you can tag them like this eg. @Dr. Charlie ...
    10. dan

      dan Member

      Tinnitus Since:

      Would be really interesting to see if Retigabine (Trobalt) would lower or cure your tinnitus completely. If there is a way you can get it, I would give it a go.

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