Former Musician with Tinnitus Moving Into Possibly Hellish Situation

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Conner, Aug 1, 2015.

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    1. Conner

      Conner Member

      Tinnitus Since:

      I just want to start off by saying that I'm not the type to join online groups for any reason, and I'm also don't usually open up about mental/psychological issues either, even to loved ones and/or licensed therapists. For example, I had such severe acne from age 12 to 22 that I went through two rounds of Accutane and still have cystic scars all over my body that will never fade. I lost my two front teeth in a freak boating accident, so I also had braces, a retainer, and no two front teeth for the entirety of high school. I was routinely bullied; I never saw a therapist for this.

      As I began my senior year of college last fall, I moved from a pretty shitty living situation (construction literally outside my front door with a bedroom overlooking the busiest street on the east side of the college town in which I presently reside, with no A/C to boot) to another shitty living situation. I lived on the top floor of an old frathouse rented out by scummly landlords who decided to to do construction on the roof. I first heard my tinnitus here.

      For a variety of reasons (broken heating system causing the temp to rise to 86 degress at night, broken HVAC system humming loud enough to hear while wearing earplugs, broken heating pipes in the walls ticking at all hours of the night) I decided to move to where I currently live. At this point, I was sleep deprived enough to move mid-semester into an old house on the busiest street on the south side of town to save on rent. It was here I realized that the noise I heard when I put my earplugs in to sleep wasn't some strange electrical signal or the sound of the fridge, but tinnitus. Unbenownst to me, I moved into an old house so poorly built (before the street it was built on --or cars for that matter-- existed) that when construction trucks speed down the road outside my single pane window at 5:30 in the morning, it literally shakes my bed to the point I wake up. Same for when the last bus passes at 11:30 at night.

      Between the road noise and my tinnitus which continues to become preogessively louder, I've lost so much sleep that I nearly failed out of school and was put on antidepressants, which I continue to take. Now I've finished up a part time research gig this summer, and as my lease comes to its end I face a decision I'm terrified of. I'm unemployed (and may be for a while), and I can either choose to move in with my parents in their newly rented condo (on the other end of the country), or use what little cash I've saved up to find a quiet place to sleep here and try to put my life together.

      Here's the catch: my parents sold the house I grew up in (where I never had trouble sleeping) and moved into a condo that is 50 feet away from most significant train intersection in an urban environment, where freight trains run hourly (and honk) from midnight to 8 am, exceeding 70 decibels, and a boat bridge horn honks loudly 24/7. My bedroom directly faces the tracks. Every group of tenants my parents know are not resigning their lease due to the noise, and my parents are moving into another condo in three months on the other side of the tracks (again facing the railroad).

      The three nights I've spent there I averaged 3-4 hours of sleep, which is much more than I generally get most nights where I currently live. I know if I live with my parents I will be relieved of the financial burden of having to go deeper into debt short-term in an attempt to get my feet wet in an entry level job.

      So, if anyone is still with me, I'm wondering if anyone could provide me some comfort in telling a success story of a tinnitus sufferer who has slept in an extremely loud nighttime environment. Is this manageable? Finding a new place almost seems like the safe play at this point, and if things don't work out I'll just be deeper in debt living with parents with a subletter to worry about. If it matters, my tinnitus is a high-pitched alternating screech with no discernable rhythmic pattern, I don't do drugs or drink alcohol and I workout regularly, yet I'm practically nonfunctional. Wearing earplugs makes my tinnitus much worse, so I'm forced to choose between sever tinnitus while wearing earplugs and sleeping in a loud environment that evidently drives most people who live there crazy. I'm depressed, anxious, and a diagnosed insomniac, and without my medication i'm borderline bipolar.

      I've had my best success sleeping with earplugs in not-too-snugly and running a white noise machine by my bedside. Even so, I'm a former deans list student who pre tinnitus had phone interviews with the largest hedge fund in the world. Now I'm a shell of my former self who atm could not hold down a full time job. Heres to hoping I'm not yet inconsolable. I know my struggle with tinnitus is primarily a mental hurdle I'm failing to overcome, and this is atleast partially my fault. Any advice or thoughts are welcome :)

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    2. uncle vikin

      uncle vikin Member

      nashville tennessee
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Subjective tinnitus r ear cause ( unknown)
      Stress can cause tinnitus, Conner I am one who believes it is a nerve damage issue . Tinnitus can make you depressed . I believe everyone has T but some people just don't notice it yet and most will not ever notice it. Stress has a big impact on neurons and the nervous system . I think the medical system has a hard time dealing with this area of the body and mind. Just like the audio cords in a studio they have shorts. Electrical wires in a house they get shorts. nerves and neurons of the body they get shorts. Any age it don't matter. That is what a lot of ailments of this sort are in the body. Sleep is a big need they are finding more and more how important it is. So there you go . I was only getting 4 to 6 hour a night for 4 years then I got T. I don't know but it might have something to do with it. Everybody is superman till something blind sides us then we get humbled . Hang in there I am at 10 1/2 month mark and doing a lot better now. It takes time to heal. Try to get more sleep man. What ever you have to do . Uncle Vikin
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    3. Conner

      Conner Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Thank you so much uncle vikin. I think you're absolutely on the mark with regard to stress, anxiety and sleep. I'm also relieved to hear that you're getting better 10 1/2 months in. Tinnitus, for me atleast, is a sort of mental game in the sense that I have to short-circuit the stress-response without having the best tools (steady background noise in an otherwise quiet environment) to do so. Worse yet, no one in my family has every heard of tinnitus or lived near as much constant noise and heat as I have over the past year. It's like I'm running into a gunfight with a butterknife, and the only other soldiers on my side see me holding a gun just like them. I haven't made a single new friend or gone on a single date since this started. It hurts.
    4. Mike82

      Mike82 Member

      Tinnitus Since:

      I hope you're doing okay with your living circumstances.

      My tinnitus is pretty loud - I can hear it over everything except the shower - but I wanted to let you know that I sleep fairly well every night courtesy of a daily Mirtazapine tablet.

      I know an SSRI is not for everyone, but you seem to fit the profile of someone who might benefit from it. Maybe talk to your doctor and see what they think.

      All the best.
    5. billie48

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      Sorry to hear your suffering @Conner. Tinnitus can bring most tough men to their knees initially. Hang in there. Your T is still relatively new within a year. Many people take twice as much time or longer to do better. For my ultra high pitch dog whistle T which I could hear it above the jet noise in my last 2 flights and above the raging rapids of the salmon river I fish, it took me 2 to 3 years to be on my feet, with many setbacks in the first 2 years.

      I can definitely identify with your pain of having to wear ear plugs for protection but that make T so unbearably loud and dominant. Why? A few years back I was overwhelmed with ultra high pitched loud dog whistle T. Worse I was also attacked soon after by severe hyperacusis. H turned all normal sounds glassy in quality, and were piercingly hurtful to my senses as if being drilled constantly. I had to wear earplugs all the time to prevent the hurtful sensation, but the plugs blocked off all outside masking sounds, making the harsh T shrill so dominant and unbearable. I had to choose the lesser of two evils and there was no lesser choice between T & H. The brain saw no way out and it caved into relentless panic attacks, being that I was a panic prone person before T & H. So besides the horror of T & H, I also had to face the terrible symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks all day. I had to depend on meds just to survive each long, dark day.

      I thought I would never recover from such 'hell' of a life. But never say never. I am here back to normal today, living an absolutely enjoyable and productive life. I wrote my success story in the 3rd year and I listed many helpful points which help to turn things around. For brevity, here is the link to it. I also include the most read success story on TT so you know T is not an end game and many people get better. Hope you have time to read up as many success stories as you can to have hope for your recovery. Take good care of yourself and God bless.

      My success story:

      The most read success story ‘Back to Silence’ with a simple effective strategy:
    6. MickBr

      MickBr Member

      South Pacific
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      rifle fire
      Your tinnitus sounds like mine. Your story also has a lot of similar factors. My opinion is the anxeity of the situation is more damaging than the noise. Uncle vilkin hit the nail on the head. When I first lost a chunk of hearing, I had a feeling of fullness in my ear like wind blowing in it, or like my ear was opening and closing by itself, which turned into tinnitus weeks later, as I no longer had the feeling again, just the tinnitus. I believe I was hearing tinnitus without acknowledging it at first , which is the secret most normal folk manage, they never get to the hearing tinnitus thing.As to you specific problem even a train tracks house probably does not exceed normal DB safety ratings, otherwise there would be a lot of stone deaf folks working stations and living next to them? Secondly you sound like your are trying to make permanent or best decisions long term. Maybe just do what's easy, stay with your parents for a couple months, put some furniture against the noisy wall, a locker or 4 draw filing cabinet with a simple vase in front of a window will direct a lot of noise away from the inside of the room.

      If its any solace to you I think people can get back to their former glory if they can have a few small successes and lose some of the fear of tinnitus. I went from a successful businessman, to a shadow of my former self holed up at my parents place( I am 40) for a year when tinnitus hit, back to being able to work again as a tax bill hit me and I had to get back to international flying and work on remote sites. When I took jobs again it took my mind off the tinnitus rather than making it worse, and the noise as long as I took precautions like earplugs did not effect it long term, just temporary spikes. I slept next to some noisy generators, took rattly cargo flights on beat up planes, drove 4x4 across long rocky trails. I started to have a theory that as long as the noise is not actually damage level, it will not affect tinnitus as long as you are 'not anxious or in fear of your tinnitus at the time'

      Another thing that may help and I don't think most people here realise being suburbanites and white collar folk is that whole industries of folks have tinnitus, I meet soldiers, Vietnam vets, miners, pilots, hunters, roughnecks some of which joke about having an entire orchestra playing in their head. What makes them different from us, why aren't they posting here with the extreme fear we feel? How do they continue in their noisy work?? No doubt it bothers them but it does not disempower them. I can answer partly in that when I got back on my feet I no longer feared my tinnitus, I barely recongnized it on a good week and and the sound of it I even liked to curl up with at night, it became a comforting sleep sound for me. There was just no anxiety attached. Obviously I am not perfect at that because I am back here posting with sudden T increase due to a cold but anyway, trying to work through that too now :)

      A long blather and I have talked abut myself too much again. But hoping and believing you can get back to your former hopes and potential buddy.
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