Experienced Silence Today During a Game of Cards

Discussion in 'Support' started by Brianna, Apr 26, 2015.

tinnitus forum
    1. Brianna
      No Mood

      Brianna Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US, NC (the progressive part :) )!
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No clue - too many causes.
      I do not understand tinnitus and how it works. I have articles from my cousin showing basic tinnitus points in the brain. It's limited but it's there.

      I've had tinnitus on both sides of my brain for god knows how long. It always gets worse at night and that I fully expect to continue. However, what I suddenly noticed during a game of cards today was silence. The cochlear implant shuts off my right brain but nothing was shutting off the other side. What caused it? I have no clue.

      I'm moving toward organics (hence a crazy weight loss because nothing is pure organic that I eat ... well for the most part - don't look at my GMO stash of Hot Tamale candy). I still haven't touched aspirin or any of that stuff despite knee issues at night in particular. I'm also more diligently working on luminosity - whether it works or not, I don't want dementia before I'm ready for it and it's not now. I'm exercising more but it's spring and almost summer, so that's not unusual.

      I don't know and I won't even type that I'm cautiously optimistic.

      No hugs required. It's a shift if only for a little while. May this blow to others to ease the noise.
       
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    2. NiNyu

      NiNyu Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29/12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      barotrauma? stress?
      So you had silence. Wow! That's stunning. For how long?
       
    3. Brianna
      No Mood

      Brianna Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US, NC (the progressive part :) )!
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No clue - too many causes.
      Yes, my TT friend, it's so stunning that I didn't notice it. I don't know how long other than that was hours ago and it's still quiet. All I can tell you is we were playing our usual game and I stopped it suddenly and said I don't hear anything here (left brain). I still have the implant on, so that part of my head is still quiet. I don't understand it and probably never will. It's a nice change.
       
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    4. Brianna
      No Mood

      Brianna Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US, NC (the progressive part :) )!
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No clue - too many causes.
      Here's an update for y'all. I know when I have to remove my cochlear implant at night (it bypasses the middle
      ear and processes sound and sends it to the brain), T comes on like soft waves on the shore and build into a
      crescendo but stays that way. It's hard to tell where it is in my brain. So, I don't know if my left side of my head
      was effected. But, it's morning and I'm still not hearing the same basic frequency in my head. I'd say the silence continues.

      Hmphh... It was suggested by someone on this forum to remind you I had T earlier. I'm gladly complying. How much earlier, I'd guess in bits and pieces throughout adulthood (hmm, wonder what "hood" I'm in now...). It just grew much louder later and before the cochlear implant. BUT with the implant, it's a lot worse. (NiNyu for sure knows this - send people to my profile if anyone even dares to think the implant will solve their problem, please. I'm here and hear to talk sense to them.)
       
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    5. NiNyu

      NiNyu Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      29/12/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      barotrauma? stress?
      When you say left brain do you mean silence just on one side? Or total silence?
       
    6. Brianna
      No Mood

      Brianna Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US, NC (the progressive part :) )!
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No clue - too many causes.
      You know the implant silences my brain when it's on and the implant and metal plate w/electrodes are just above my right ear. Whatever controls the right-side of my head isn't noticeable at all w/the implant. The left side (no implant) had a constant hummmmmm for so long I don't remember. So, with the implant on there is no tinnitus (but there was prior to recently). When I go to bed and take it off, the swooshing and, as robinbird has accurately described it, the Titanic starts sinking with various noises including off-key musical notes, keys clanging, and other insanities.

      Hey, NiNyu: How bad is your tinnitus and how long have you had it?

      * * * It's a little later and my battery to the implant finally shut off, so I'm off for the night. Within moments, the whooshhhh set in on my right side - it's oddly distinctive and isolated for now. It gets louder over time.
       
    7. Brianna
      No Mood

      Brianna Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US, NC (the progressive part :) )!
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No clue - too many causes.
      It's back - same hum same frequency. But, I know one major change I made yesterday. I'll see if eliminating it causes the tinnitus to go back in its hole. It may take a while but I'll let y'all know.
       
    8. Craggy 65
      Amazed

      Craggy 65 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Croydon
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Trauma
      Hi Brianna,that was amazing,but then I should not be amazed when talking of tinnitus,my t went quiet for 20mins.last Wednesday but today it's raging,I can never predict this thing.
       
    9. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      I've been playing with my tinnitus frequencies during meditation, and I've had a couple experiences later in the day (often while approaching edge-of-sleep) where one or all tones sort of drop out completely for a few moments.

      This condition is infuriating, but it's led me to discover all sorts of interesting things about my physiology and subconscious...
       
    10. Brianna
      No Mood

      Brianna Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US, NC (the progressive part :) )!
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No clue - too many causes.
      I'd like quiet for 20 minutes and I can't complain that I had it for over 24 hours. Plop plop fizz fizz oh what a relief it was.

      How do you meditate with all the noise in your head? Would you clarify your last sentence?

      Thanks.
       
    11. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      East Coast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1998
      It's really only been since I've had tinnitus to the degree that I do, that I've put any time/effort into learning how to meditate at all. So, I can't compare the before and after very well... in fact, tinnitus distress was the big motivator that got me to make the effort. I do very typical mindfulness meditation, but lately, instead of focusing on my breath, I've been trying to use the tinnitus signal itself as the object of meditation (a technique mentioned on this page, among other places: http://www.mindovermenieres.com/a-new-approach-for-treating-tinnitus/).

      The thing is, if you're distracted by tinnitus while you're trying to meditate... it's much the same as anyone else trying to meditate. You focus on your breath (or on the sound, whatever), and then a split second later you realize you're distracted, so you re-focus. If you're really stressed out about your tinnitus, then that distress might be the main distraction. For someone who doesn't have tinnitus, the distraction will be something different, but the principle is exactly the same: focus the mind on one thing, and re-focus it over and over as soon as you realize that you've started thinking about something else.

      My last sentence just meant that I have had some significant internal insights as a direct result of the sounds in my head. For one thing, I have come to realize that I have many different sounds which must originate from different sources. Some, I have identified: certain low-frequency sounds relate to my circulatory system, and can be reliably provoked by increasing bloodflow. Certain high-frequency sounds relate to the muscles around my TM joint, and I can reliably provoke them by flexing those muscles. (To a lesser degree, I can reduce those sounds through specific massage and relaxation techniques). Some sounds seem to correspond directly to a left-sided hearing deficit that I have in the high frequencies, and these are much harder to interact with consciously, but I have moments of being able to do just that while in particular mind-states (immediately following meditation, and when I am in the process of falling asleep, notably).

      Additionally, I have had some very interesting experiences with tinnitus in dreams, that have given me some degree of self-insight. This is a little bit hard to quantify in text, but I am happy to describe two of them. Note that I have somewhat extensive experiences with lucid dreaming, and I had both of these dreams while in a period of trying to do some dream work using a book about traditional buddhist dream meditations as a guide:
      * I am in a vast house. I realize I am dreaming. I believe that the house is a visual representation of parts of my subconscious. I am awed by huge, towering wooden walls and finely curated furniture. Suddenly, a high pitched noise occurs, and at this same instant, before I have even processed the noise, there is an unbelievable sense of urgency and fear bordering on panic which was not present in the dream before. I realize that the sound is tinnitus. I become afraid. The room that I am in suddenly shuts and locks, and I realize it's a torture chamber. I'm literally locked in my own head with the sound. From somewhere, figures start to approach me. I realize that they are evil, and here to torture me. However, when they reach me, they flail almost comically, their arms are pathetic and useless. I strike back and them, and easily dispatch all of them. The dream has gone from being a nightmare into being an action movie with me as the hero. Once I have defeated them all, I become curious as to the "source" of the tinnitus sound... if this house I am in is an internal representation of my mind, where is the tinnitus signal originating, and what might that tell me about the sound? Unfortunately, as I start to explore deeper into the house's sublevels, I wake up.
      * I am in a different house, in a different dream. It is brightly lit from large windows. I hear crickets everywhere. I look outside and suddenly it begins to snow heavily. I realize that if it is snowing, then I should not hear summer sounds like crickets, and because I am, I realize I am dreaming. Because of this realization, I immediately understand that the cricket noise is actually my tinnitus. Instantly, it goes from being a background sound which I am completely neutral towards (or may even have been enjoying), to a sound that I have a negative, aversive reaction to. For the first time in the dream, I am afraid. A thought comes to the surface of my mind: "A moment ago, the sound was crickets, and I did not mind it. Now I know that the sound is tinnitus, and I dislike it. Why can't I just let the sound be crickets, and not mind it?"

      Why not, indeed? What is aversion? To what degree is aversion a hard-wired genetic reaction versus a learned cultural or experiential reaction? To what degree can that aversion be modulated through contemplative practices?

      These questions do not have easy answers; perhaps they do not really have answers at all. However, an obvious counter-argument to what I am saying is "high frequency sound, like pain, is something which we have an evolutionary aversion to". I'm not sure if that's really true, or not, but if it is, a less obvious counter-argument is the widespread practice of extremely painful rites in various traditional societies (walking on coals, scarification, etc). In the modern world, it is easy to assume that people in those cultures had the same aversion which we do to pain, and it was just something which they endured because the dirty savages didn't know any better. Again, I am not necessarily convinced of that. Our modern world places a huge emphasis on comfort and convenience, and avoiding discomfort and pain at all cost. I am completely a product of that world, and so it is not possible for me to understand how someone with a completely different understanding of the world would process pain. I have certainly read accounts of traditional societies which regarded "tinnitus" as a good and positive thing because they interpreted it as a sign that their gods were communicating with them.

      I am not suggesting that adopting an unscientific worldview is a reasonable way to counteract tinnitus distress, but I also do not believe that there's anything inherently scientific about having an aversive reaction to sounds which are being generated by the nervous system as a result of normal homeostasis. And, to play devil's advocate on this a little bit, if you could just snap your fingers and suddenly regard your tinnitus as a sign that God loves you, and become happier as a result, what would the harm be?

      This got very long-winded, and I apologize for that.
       
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    12. Kah Povi

      Kah Povi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      New Mexico
      Tinnitus Since:
      1974
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Genetics and loud music
      Wonderful post, linearb -- I'm a long time meditator -- almost became a Zen nun. After decades of mild tinnitus, a recent tinnitus spike has really challenged my samadhi! I began to feel defeated and pitiful, but I never stopped sitting and had to admit that meditation was a way to sit with (rather than against) the tinnitus. I'm intrigued by what you say about the human evolutionary aspect of aversion (as to pain) and how some cultures have dealt with it. And as to tinnitus being God's blessing, consider Buddhist teacher Ajhan Sumedho's dharma talks on "The Sound of Silence"on youtube); he actually sees the ringing in his ears as a point of peace. I'm not "there" yet, but there's a crack in my attitude that tinnitus is simply a horrible thing that must be stopped or else....Attitude is huge in dealing with anything chronic that one doesn't want; but it's fundamental Buddhism that aversion (as well as greed and ignorance) is the cause of suffering. In other words, we may not be able to get rid of pain or tinnitus, but we don't have to suffer. I think a lot of people consider acceptance a kind of losing or giving up the fight; but how can I lose if I live fully, no matter what? This doesn't mean that I won't use skillful means to address the tinnitus -- getting a hearing aid for hearing loss, for example. But it means that I will focus on accepting what is, so that I can address it with a clear, not desperate, mind and, as the serenity prayer says, I can change what I can change and accept what I can't change. Yes, if we saw our ailments as blessings or even as something that is neither good nor bad, but just is, how would that affect our suffering? (I think of the documentary "The Lady in #6" where women who were in concentration camps were actually grateful for what they'd gone through because of what it taught them about loving life.) I can't imagine ever being grateful for tinnitus, but I can say (as you said) it has taught me a lot and deepened my meditation practice. And if anyone needs an example of someone who didn't let adversity stop him from kicking ass, think of Stephen Hawking. He would not turn down a cure, but he's not waiting to live until one comes along.
       
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    13. Brianna
      No Mood

      Brianna Member Benefactor

      Location:
      US, NC (the progressive part :) )!
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      No clue - too many causes.
      Your response was super and thorough. It sounds like what I have to do with tinnitus already - refocus. Figuring out the frequency (on my left brain) doesn't matter to me. A humm or a sound is just that.

      I've ground my teeth for years (have a hard nightguard) and never had TMJ - until it was obvious and recent. I wear the nightguard regularly now.

      The hummmmm also disappeared again. I'm off and on again.

      Your dream does sound like you're the superhero fighting off the even dark matter. Whatever works is good enough for me.

      It will be interesting meditating with friends again. I used to be able to fall asleep (again, whatever works) while attempting to meditate. If I can with noise (I will likely remove my implant (it's annoying and a little painful)) and that means my right brain will start up), I'm in good shape.

      Kah Povi: You make a good analogy about Mr. Hawkings or anyone who has an incredibly difficult-to manage disability. We all have fight to different degrees on this forum and we all have to learn how to adapt.

      Thank you, both, for your incite.
       
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