Ear Inflammation / Anxiety Recovery Story

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by allgoodnow, Jul 18, 2017.

  1. Watch Hazel share good news about tinnitus
    1. allgoodnow

      allgoodnow Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear inflammation / Stress
      Hello, everyone. I’m here because I promised myself I would write my tinnitus recovery story once recovery began to feel real. With that said, I can’t promise I’ll do updates. You might guess why - I don’t want to think about tinnitus anymore, as I want that recovery to keep going strong, and that can’t happen if I’m always reminded of it and thinking about it. I believe this is exactly why there are not more recovery stories online. People feel better, but understand that immersion in this topic is actually counter-productive, so they decide not to engage with it at all. I want to add a touch of positivity to the often grim discourse online about this condition, but I will also need to look after myself by limiting my contribution to this one post. To make up for that, and just to be indulgent, I will make it very detailed and long. I hope you understand :)

      My tinnitus began about a month and a half ago. The onset was “out of nowhere”, I went to bed and woke up in the middle of the night with a screeching high pitch sound in my left ear. It was terrifying. I wasn’t sure if it was just me, or if it was an outside sound, just super confusing. Once I realized it was me, I got to googling and realized that I have the same thing as my sister on the other side of the world at the same time - tinnitus. I still didn’t know if mine would go away soon or what, so I tried to stay calm and expect it to be gone by the morning. In short - fat chance.

      I’ll take a moment here to say that a month before the onset, I also experienced some somatic anxiety symptoms - need to breathe deeply (with no satisfaction) every 30 seconds, some acid reflux feeling, globus sensation in my throat. I had muscle twitches, even when I was relaxing in bed or after stretching. These lasted a few weeks each, and I never had them before. Basically, my life was changing lots and fast, and I couldn’t keep up. I was stressed, worried, sad, confused, and focused on everything else but myself. I think all this had a big role in the onset, which happened the day when my partner moved far for work and we began our long-distance relationship. That day, I was so sad to see him leave and worried about how our relationship would work as I would see him maybe once in the next 4 months. But I didn’t even have time to process his departure because I had so much other stuff to do.

      After a few days of no sleep, intensified anxiety and stress, I went to the doctor (I didn’t have insurance so I avoided going and hoped tinnitus would go away). Interestingly, he found an inflammation in the left ear, where the sound was loud. He gave me antibiotics and lorazepam for sleeping, and sent me on my way. Shortly, this did not help the tinnitus. It kept going, changed in pitch, but it was there, roaring, especially at night.

      Bedtime became scarytime, I couldn’t get to sleep no matter what I tried and it made me feel desperate, lonely and isolated - especially with my partner being so far away. I tried guided meditation for sleeping but gave up after following 2 x 1hr meditations without success. It was just disheartening. Instead, I put on nature sounds and a movie at the same time to try to mask it. While it might have helped with the noise masking, it created a lot of noise still, so I couldn’t get to sleep anyway. This was the biggest problem with the entire experience - lack of sleep. I could only fall asleep if I would miss 2 or 3 nights sleep in a row, and additionally took a sleeping pill. Even so, I’d wake up a few times per night and/or have nightmares and sleep paralysis. I often thought that if this continues, my life won’t. I believe many here can relate to this, which is why I’m writing it - it sucks so much, but you are not alone.

      Now, for the more productive side of the story.

      When I look back on everything, I realized that my entire body and soul were simply inflamed. I got into a habit of stressing and hoped that my anxiety symptoms were just some random signs of being really busy, and they would just go away on their own in time, if I just chill a bit more and do some deep breathing and stretching. What I can really say is that if this happens to you, please understand that your body and mind are telling you that they need you to take care of them both, and now! And you should make that your priority if you want to get better.

      The fact that I went to bed with wet hair and slept under an open window with cold air blowing in - probably didn’t help? I feel like that might have actually set off the physical inflammation in the ear, which probably wouldn’t have happened if my immune system was in a better shape.

      I believe that my tinnitus onset wasn’t due to any one particular reason - it was the combination of what was happening physically and mentally that set it off.

      And what did I do about it?

      Pretty much… everything I could.

      I cut out caffeine and alcohol immediately.

      I put ear plugs in when cycling and going out in the city to protect my ears from noise and wind.

      Supplements: vitamin B complex, vitamin C, zinc, magnesium, fish oil capsules and liquid, ginko biloba, women’s daily vitamin, mushroom extract, echinacea, whole garlic clove mixed with honey, pepper and turmeric before bed, chamomile tea, chaga tea.

      Diet: similar but more fresh fruit, veggies, homemade yoghurt, water.

      Exercise: stretching, cycling, some yoga, running, bodyweight training.

      Community acupuncture 3 times per week for 2 weeks and one time massage.

      I took my studies online, quit my volunteering position and moved away from the big city a smaller, quieter town to be with my partner.

      I took a hearing test (my tinnitus ear is a little weaker, but still in the limits of normal).

      Over the course of the last 6 weeks, the pitch changed a few times. It went from high screeching to low hum, but always loud. I thought it was improvement. Over time, the high pitch returned and shattered my hope that it will ever get better. I felt pressure in my ears, and also crackling when I swallow. I listened to it all the time, I pressed on my ears often to check if the sound is any different. It drove me crazy.

      Now, 6 weeks later, I still have some ringing. But it’s different now. It’s lower in volume, lower in pitch. I don’t care so much anymore. This is my 3rd night in a row falling asleep on my own, without medication and much masking. I don’t check for it in every silent room, I don’t go around listening to appliances in the house to make sure the sound I hear is not just in my head. I can focus on other things and forget about it for a while.

      And I think that made the biggest difference. It’s just not that important anymore. I’m tired of it, in the sense that I’m getting bored of it. It’s down to a level where I don’t have to mask the crap out of it to sleep, and I’m happy with that. If it goes away completely - great. If not, I just don’t give a damn. In any case, it’s just going to get better from here, and I know it.

      I realized a few of my friends/family have some ringing in their ears. My partner actually hears a high pitch tone at bedtime (he works in a noisy environment), but he doesn’t really care so it’s not a big deal. My dad has been hearing whooshing and buzzing for years but never even mentioned it until I complained about mine. My sister has noise-induced tinnitus right now and it’s been tough but she’s getting better. My roommate hears ringing when he focuses on it in a quiet room but it’s doesn’t bother him. My doctor has tinnitus for two weeks after his ear drum ruptured, but he doesn’t anymore. All of those examples are just in my immediate circles - who knows how many more people experience it and to what level.

      Having said that, not everyone’s tinnitus is the same. Your pitch and volume may be totally different to your neighbour’s, and impact you differently. Do whatever you need to help yourself through this. I thought mine was forever, it felt permanent. How can it not? It’s there 24/7! I didn’t think I could get myself back up. But now I do believe that it’s impossible that it’s forever, and that I can get myself back up because:
      • I know that the volume and pitch are significantly lower than in the beginning
      • my perception of it is changing to where it doesn’t matter as much anymore
      I think that these two actually feed each other. I started to feel more relaxed about it when I noticed the high pitch gone, but I also noticed the more carefree I am, the less it impacts me and it’s just less of an issue.

      And, totally aware of the irony, I have to say - don’t read too much about tinnitus online! Read the Tinnitus First Aid Kit, go to your doctor and do as they say, but don’t get too caught up in tinnitus stories online. Mine was nothing like I expected, and I expected everything I read - most of which was doom and gloom. Some horrific quotes that I read about it still come up in my head, simply because I can’t believe what people will write to scare others.

      No-one, especially not someone you don’t know from the internet, can tell you how your experience will look like.

      I read scores and stacks of forum posts and articles, and the only thing I read about it that I found to be true in my experience is: IT WILL GET BETTER.

      Take care of yourselves guys, and hang in there! Learn whatever you can out of this experience, appreciate every single moment and don’t let anything bring you down <3
       
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    2. JoyBenz007
      No Mood

      JoyBenz007 Member

      Location:
      Texas
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 1, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I need to start exercising again! The T turned my world upside down
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    3. Freeatlast

      Freeatlast Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sound
      You're hot as you are;)
       
    4. Freeatlast

      Freeatlast Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Sound
      You cut out coffee but still drink tea, which has a lot of caffeine
       
    5. amr

      amr Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      June 10th, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      viral, hearing loss of high frequency, tinnitus, hyperacusis
      Thank you for your story. It's very similar to how mine started and I'm hoping to have improvement.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    6. Jenni8619
      Inspired

      Jenni8619 Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Thank you for sharing @allgoodnow :)

      I really needed to read a positive T recovery story today!

      Hugs,

      Jenni
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      allgoodnow

      allgoodnow Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear inflammation / Stress
      I should make sure to say that I drink herbal tea :D
       
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