Feeling Horrible. My Situation Is Pretty Unique. Please Help!

Discussion in 'Support' started by Gobi, Sep 8, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. Gobi

      Gobi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Hey Everyone,
      I feel like I'm going crazy, which I take it is pretty normal for the first months of developing T. I think to some degree I've had T for a while, but it was so mild I never noticed. Then all of a sudden last month, Aug 9th to be exact, I developed a high pitch whine that only hits me at night. I spent the first week with the high pitch whine turning off fans, unplugging refridgerators, etc.. Then I started doing some research and discovered that its most likely T. I have been using ear plugs to sleep for almost 18 years now, started in college. The sound of my own breathing and the quiet have always put me to sleep. Now when I put my ear plugs in my T all of a sudden goes into high gear, with a high pitched whine with a pulsated whine noise. I was able to handle it for a couple of weeks there, but since being back at work it bugs me and I can't sleep.

      I'm struggling with the fact that I basically addicted to using ear plugs, but they make my T so much worse. I tried using a fan last night without the ear plugs and I had trouble breathing, I take it that was anxiety kicking in. Finally I just took a Xanax and went to bed with the ear plugs in. Heard my T loud and clear, but the meds kicked in and calmed me down so I slept alright. I'm really depressed about this, I've always been a good sleeper. I feel like if I can just stop using ear plugs then I'll get through this and my T won't bug me too much. But I just don't know how, anyone else been through something like this?

      I take it using ear plugs to sleep when you have T is about as stupid as it gets, but I didn't ask for this. I just use ear plugs for quiet and it has helped me sleep since college. Then wham, hear comes T and I'm a sleepless zombie who can't enjoy his family anymore. I have two young sons at home and a wife, but this whole episode has taken the joy out of life. I just don't know what to do. I feel like if I can kick the ear plug habit then I can mask the T and sleep, but I feel like I need the plugs to sleep.

      Anyone have a similar experience or can give me some advice, maybe sleep pills, or depression meds will help. Thoughts? Maybe my situation isn't that unique and some advice will help, thanks and god bless you guys. I've only been dealing with this for a month so I can't imagine what some of you go through hearing loud T all day.

      Gobi
       
    2. Blair14
      Tired

      Blair14 Member

      Location:
      New Brunswick, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure
      Hi Gobi,
      I do not have the issue with ear plugs, but appears to be the same concept, ear muffs when trying to mow the lawn. The first time I tried this spring, I heard it much louder. I can't use hearing protection because of the T increasing after I take them off. From what I understand, T is your brain noise and if you plug your ears it is like living in a bubble, no environmental noise to offset the T. It is the contrast like going into a quiet room after being in a room with sound. I feel for you, I have two young sons as well and a wife and I agree I try to make it thru each hour, just watching life pass before my eyes and no attachment to it. I am taking sleeping pills, which I am not sure are working very well and I have a sound pillow that helps, I guess the two get me to sleep. I'll be on here for a while if you want to chat.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    3. Gobi

      Gobi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Blair14,
      Thanks for the reply. I feel like such a baby complaining about my situation since I know many people have T that is intrusive to their entire day. I feel like if I could just sleep I could deal with this, but sleeping with ear plugs, like I have been for years is pretty horrible now. I don't know how to give them up without being awoken by the smallest sound. Likewise, I feel so guilty about not enjoying my new son as much as I should be and burdening my wife with this as well when she is taking care of a newborn all night. Thankfully my 3 year old doesn't understand that Daddy is going through a rough time right now, so he is doing great.

      I just don't know what to do at this point. I am going to see a new doctor on Friday, but I feel like that's just a road to sleeping pills and anitdepressants. However, if that gets me better then so be it.

      Gobi
       
    4. ampumpkin
      Amused

      ampumpkin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Montreal
      Tinnitus Since:
      Onset: 12/2007 Increase: 04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2007: Meds(Antidepressant) 2014: Meds(Antibiotics)
      @Gobi does everyday sound cover your T? if it's only annoying at night, it is very likely that you will habituate and learn to "live with it".

      You need to challenge yourself and take the plugs off. It's like training your brain to learn to sleep without plugs. It will be hard at first...

      Also, you just became a father for the 2nd time...you must be sleep deprived and exhausted. Don't be so hard on yourself. You are not a baby. I have 3 kids. I know what it is to lack sleep :) And for sure, it makes you more sensitive to everything, including T :)

      Good luck dear!!
       
      • Like Like x 2
    5. Gobi

      Gobi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Thanks, I think I've reached the point where I'm angry at the ear plugs and don't relish the thought of using them. I was really upset last night about it which is of course not conducive to sleep. I did try last night but my goodness I started having trouble breathing for some odd reason, probably just nerves. For a little while I do recall it feeling great not to have the sound in my head. That of course didn't last.

      I just don't want to use them anymore so my T doesn't slam me all night. Sad. ;( I think going cold turkey might be the only way. I did order a sound machine today so hoping something that I can control the volume on, not just a fan with an on off switch will help.
       
    6. I was very much like you Gobi. Slept with plugs for 15 years before T. When T hit me 6 months ago i tried to sleep with plugs anyway, of course it was impossible. I was more or less sleepless for the first two months, just passed out 2-4 hours a night. The turning point for me was when i started to sleep with a backround sound, and it should be added that i really had to force myself to learn to do that. For a guy that had been sleeping with plugs for a long time it felt impossible to fall a sleep listening to some stupid sound of fake rain. But after a while i did, i can still hear the T but the rain sound takes the edge off it and when waking up in the middle of the night my semi awaken brain just don´t seem to focus on the T but the fake rain instead. But now 4 months later both me and my fiance and our 3 month old baby boy sleeps to the sound of rain.

      Lot of useful smart phone apps, for Iphone try Relax melodies or white noise sleep miracle. Loads of different sounds in them. It´s not easy when used to plugs but when you get there you will have your sleep back. I think 6 months into T i sleep better than ever with the backround sounds on and if my T goes away i still think there will be rain in our bedroom. I could almost say that the backround sound have replaced the plugs in a strange way, you just don´t focus on other external sounds that you try to cut out with plugs.
      I should also ad that i am no fake rain salesman:blackeye:
       
    7. Blair14
      Tired

      Blair14 Member

      Location:
      New Brunswick, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure
      Hi Gobi,

      This is a serious thing for you, and it is impacting your life regardless of others situations. Sleep I am told is major in managing T. I am struggling during the day as well, but I have made sleep a priority for escape as well as hopefully being therapeutic in trying to get a grip on this. You might need the meds for awhile, no shame in that, we can only handle so much on our own, thank God for the medication, before the development of meds. Perhaps at that point you can try to transition to a different strategy of sleep, its like having to adapt to having T in the first place, its a struggle.
      Many Prayers.

      Blair
       
      • Like Like x 1
    8. ampumpkin
      Amused

      ampumpkin Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Montreal
      Tinnitus Since:
      Onset: 12/2007 Increase: 04/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      2007: Meds(Antidepressant) 2014: Meds(Antibiotics)
      Guys, don't you think that your brain gets used to sleeping with plugs and then becomes uber sensitive to sounds? I think it does...
       
    9. Gobi

      Gobi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Nick,
      That is especially helpful for me. I was hoping I might find someone who has gone through this. I take it my brain will eventually adjust. How did you adjust to the background noise with out coming to hate it if you don't mind me asking? I'm worried that background noise will simply become a new nuisance that will bug the life out of me forever. Is it just time that takes care of that and your brain adjusting?

      Thanks,

      Gobi
       
    10. Gobi

      Gobi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      It definitely does, which is what I'm dealing with now. I don't relish using the plugs anymore thanks to T, but its rough breaking a 18 year sleeping habit. Still haven't been able to go a full night without the plugs. Wondering if maybe a sleep aid, plus no plugs will help me adjust.
       
    11. @Gobi, really can´t say when it happened. Of course it felt totally impossible for a guy that couldnt take the smallest sound when trying to fall a sleep. It was almost impossible for me to sleep without plugs before T. Can´t say i like the sound of fake rain but when you are used to it you will understand what i meant with replacing the plugs with Rain. For now i would say that iam as much dependent of the fake rain as i was with the plugs. Try it and you will get there, not in one night and probably not in one week eith but keep doing it and you will get your sleep back.
       
    12. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      @Gobi: Sounds like you are struggling with anxiety triggered by this new tinnitus. Anxiety and insomnia go hand in hand. Using something short term for anxiety, like Xanax, could help you. Use them under the careful monitoring under a physician who understands these medications (preferably a psychiatrist), with the goal of cutting back your dosage as soon as possible.

      As far as replacing your plugs: You might try sound closer to your ears. There is the Sound Pillow, which I use (soundpillow.com). Plugs into a white noise app on a smart phone, or similar device. You also could try sleeping with head phones, plugged into a white noise app, that don't have ear buds but sit outside your ear canal. Keep the sound low enough that you still can hear your tinnitus. I am having a spike right now that is driving me crazy and I have temporarily gone back to ear buds for a few days, vs. a sound pillow, but I am keeping the sound really, really low. It truly helps calm me down. I am back to the Sound Pillow tonight.

      Also, @Blair14 : It's normal for your tinnitus to sound louder when you first take off ear protection. It usually eases within a few hours. I still would wear ear muffs and/or ear plugs when around very loud noises, like a lawn mower or being at the movies. You will have the ear protection on for a short period of time, so it will not increase tinnitus overall. Instead, it will protect you from noise exposure which could increase your tinnitus.
       
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    13. Blair14
      Tired

      Blair14 Member

      Location:
      New Brunswick, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure
      Yes, I thought I mentioned that in my post, but @LadyDi is right there is a sound pillow that I also use, she describes it well.
       
    14. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Yes, I thought I mentioned that in my post, but @@LadyDi is right there is a sound pillow that I also use, she describes it well.

      Oops, yes I see you did mention it. Sorry! I don't know about you, but I LOVE mine! Thanks for your kind posts and encouraging Gobi.
       
    15. Gobi

      Gobi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      LadyDi,
      Thanks for the suggestions, I didn't realize anxiety would also keep me from sleeping, but it makes perfect sense. I'm way out of balance on how I feel, even depressed, which is not me at all. I did order a sound machine today in an effort to get rid of the ear plugs at night. I feel like I may need some help with that though so I may go see my doctor about some sleep medication.

      Gobi
       
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    16. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Location:
      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Sleep deprivation is a common problem for newer T sufferers. So you are going through that phase right now, Gobi and don't worry about it too much. It will pass. I agree with others that your anxiety right now is causing your sleep problem. Having trouble to breathe or shortness of breath is a symptom of anxiety. Take it from a guy who has lived with anxiety and panic disorders for decades prior to severe tinnitus and hyperacusis.

      Taking sleep medications to help with sleep is also very common among newer T sufferers. Besides the adjustment to having to sleep with sounds, your reaction is quite typical and there is nothing to worry about it. I am often talking about the brain and its natural ability to adapt and adjust to new sensation or condition. This is particularly true if we don't put up a painful resistance to the new condition. You can try calm your nerve down to suggest to yourself that you are like moving from a quiet country side to a busy city, or moving to live near an airport or train tracks. It will take a while to struggle with the new noisy environment, but if you don't have any choice but to be stuck there and you are willing to give it time to adjust, your brain will eventually concur and follow. Nick's example is a good one to show that the brain is capable to adapt in similar situation as yours.

      So be prepared that your situation will take some time, perhaps needing meds to help along. Try go back to enjoy your young sons and family, knowing that in a year or two all will be well and your brain will be adjusted to the new condition. Be positive and believe it. Your T is quite new so rightfully you are a bit overwhelmed. But given time and by staying positive plus getting some help, without the worst form of T, you should be alright.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    17. Gobi

      Gobi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Wow, a year or two. That is a bit scary for me to think about. I am going to the doc tomorrow to talk about my anxiety and sleep deprivation. Just need a little help.

      I feel weak asking for the help, but it's been too hard on me up to this point.
       
    18. gary
      Transparent

      gary Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Macomb, MI. USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who Knows
      Hi Gobi, nice to meet you. We all are in the same situation, in one way or another. You have gotten some very good advice here.

      Don't ever feel weak because you ask for help, especially on this site. Here on TT help & understanding is what we are all about. Gobi, just remember, you are not alone in this....
       
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    19. loosse up

      loosse up Member

      Location:
      Victoria BC
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2007
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      unknown
      I sleep with ear plugs because my spouse snores. It spikes the T but it's the way it is. I have had severe T for seven years. My life has completely changed. I have lost a job, friends and a host of other things. Sleep is the answer but to get even a little sleep I have to take 8 Ambien. I use sound generators all the time. I have them on even with the ear plugs in because sound has a way of filtering in. Fans are also good, have one going in the house at all the time. We are all different and the hardest thing in all this is acceptance but acceptance is the only way through.
       
    20. Gobi

      Gobi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Loosse up, thanks for sharing your story with me. It is starting to affect my life as well and I'm only one month in. Acceptance is hard, I still get so mad sometimes thinkin to myself "why is this happening to me" and then breaking down soon after.

      I've never cried so much since I was a kid as I have over the last month. It's hard, time, some professional help, some meds will hopefully help me adjust.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    21. Gobi

      Gobi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Well I thought I'd update everyone on what occurred last night. I'm happy to report that for the first time in 18 years I slept without ear plugs in. Its pretty strange to say that but it actually happened. Now I did have to take a xanax to calm down my anxiety, so I didn't do it unmedicated. I am going to the doctor today to get some meds that are less caustic than Xanax. I'd like something for anxiety and something non-habit forming for sleep. That way I can adjust and then wean myself off medication.

      I did use a sound machine last night, which helped. However, now I'm annoyed by any high pitch whine from a sound machine, which this one does have thanks to its fan internals. Anyone have any suggestions for a nice machine that does brown noise, white nose, rain, all the different areas of noise? I need to start searching for one that works for me. Perhaps a nice speaker set up I can plug my iPod into to. Or some sleep bands.

      Thanks,

      Gobi
       
    22. Blair14
      Tired

      Blair14 Member

      Location:
      New Brunswick, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure
      Hi Gobi,

      Good for you! I use a sound pillow that I mentioned and @LadyDi mentioned. You can get the pillow separate from the Mp3 which has 18 tracks of 1 hour each, so there is no loops that your brain will subconsciously listen for if you download shorter clips of sounds off the internet. See soundpillow.com if you are in the US. Alternatively you can plug your own device into the cord that has a volume adjustment. I am going to look into a couple sound machines, apparently Walmart gets them in toward Christmas (I guess they think its a seasonal thing) no other store around here has them in stock. I read where you need to fill you home with sound that is pleasing to you in each room and that will help you habituate easier and you will not have to deal with the sudden contrast going into a quiet room, and then you get "into the loop".
      Wishing you continued success!

      Blair
       
    23. Gobi

      Gobi Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Hey guys,
      Well I'm happy to report that I have now slept three nights with no ear plugs. They weren't great nights of sleep, got between 4 to 6 hours each night, but its a step in the right direction. Adjusting to all the noises out there has been rough, things wake me up. I did get a pillow speaker which seemed to help last night. I also used a fan but did not like the loud whining it produced. I'm trying to find a new normal here without ear plugs and its rough.

      How long do you guys think it will take me to adjust? 18 years with ear plugs versus 3 nights without them is a bit crazy to think about.

      Gobi
       
    24. Blair14
      Tired

      Blair14 Member

      Location:
      New Brunswick, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2002
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure
      Hi Gobi,

      Good for you, you are on your way! You are getting some sleep, I am only used to just over 6 hours of sleep myself when I get it. I am using the pillow and I awake a couple times a night when I forget to put my mp3 or repeat mode and panic to find it and get the thing working again. I've only been using mine about two weeks now also with a fan and my meds. I am hoping a month.
       

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