Hello & My Observations

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by marqualler, Dec 3, 2014.

    1. marqualler

      marqualler Member Benefactor

      Minneapolis, MN
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ear infection / Mild Noise Induced Hearing Loss
      Hello TT board! I've been a member here for a month but been mostly lurking, but I thought I'd introduce myself and try to inject some of my observations and hopefully a little positivity.

      Just as some background: I first developed my tinnitus at the beginning of October alongside a sinus infection--probably the most congested sinus infection I've ever felt. This I got from my 1 year old son who just started daycare a month prior. The first day or so I laughed it off as a ridiculous weird side effect of being congested, but when it persisted for longer than a day, I went to the doctor and started feeling panicky. I first got a dose of ampicillin pills, then cifprozil pills when it kept persisting and the second GP I saw observed my left ear as worse off than what the first GP described. Had I known at that time that a shot of steroids is sometimes successful, I would have asked for that. (Hell, had I known that tinnitus was a thing that could last forever in the first place, I would have been WAY more on top of it right away!) A week later I saw an ENT who observed some hearing loss in my left ear in the 3000-4000 hz range (also the side the tinnitus affected the most) and attributed partially to nerve damage, partially to fluid. So she tried to suction out fluid with a myringotomy and--lo and behold, no fluid was actually there. So this visit set my panic / anxiety / despair cycle up very high. Probably the highest I've ever felt in my life. I'm 31 years old and have had a pretty good life up to this point, so this was pretty horrible.

      Two months later, and I am in a much, much better place. I no longer feel the anxiety / despair cycle really at all. I saw a therapist about as soon as I could get in when I realized in October that this was affecting me mentally, draining me where I didn't enjoy things I used to enjoy and feeling hopeless that the rest of my life would be a mental drain. I talked through my feelings with my therapist and although she complimented me on writing down my distorted thoughts and challenging them with "rational" thoughts (something I learned in cognitive behavioral therapy), she also said it's OK to just "feel" sad about it. That led to me having a couple crying breakdowns, the last one which occurred on Thanksgiving, when I was feeling really sad about this being my "first holiday with tinnitus." (I should point out that this is significant, because as a stoic Norwegian Minnesotan, crying is something that does not come naturally to me at all.) Somehow, that last breakdown has, at least for the past week, greatly diminished my anxiety about tinnitus. I realize that mine is probably not as strong and persistent and intrusive as a lot of you on the board (I'd generally describe mine as 3 or 4 out of 10, sometimes creeping into 6 or 7) but the thing that got me a lot more was the anxiety. I'm realistic enough to realize that it's not all going to be smooth sailing, but having some perspective has helped. Talking to people about it has helped a lot--helping them understand that it is not "just ringing" has helped, as has talking about other chronic health issues that I never knew loved ones had. For example I did not even know my wife has chronic pain in her knee from a knee injury she suffered in high school. Or that one of my best friends who was born with hearing loss has bad tinnitus. Yet I look at them both and see how they are living their lives, and it gives me hope. I'm grateful that I've recovered enough to not need masking at work or when going to sleep--I am not sure if I can attribute that to actual reduction in T or partial habituation but either way, I am grateful.

      I'm encouraged by this board's enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit, and looking at the clinical trials and research going on, it feels like something big is going to pop in the community. Short of that, having seen the lowest of lows and at least partially recovering from that, I'm more encouraged than ever to try TRT. It's amazing that the top people in the field like @Dr. Nagler are on this board and helping people out. (Dr. Nagler, do you know Paula Schwartz, Au.D., for the Tinnitus Clinic Minnesota in Edina, MN ?)

      Thanks for reading, and thanks for your support. We are in this together!
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    2. Marlene

      Marlene Member Benefactor

      Poole Dorset England
      Tinnitus Since:
      July 1996
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Bacterial virus
      Hi so very pleased you've joined ,glad you've found what a good lot there are on TT ,always out there to help ,in whatever way they can .They do the homework ,so I trust what the members say ,I have and do months on .
      Simple ear infection can set this off ,now it's to not making mistakes regarding your ears,yes we sometimes suffer with anxiety ,not many haven't at some given time ,but pleased yours has gotten better .
      Many here have sinus probs with the T ,I have perennial rhinitis .so again your in good company ,if that returns .
      Hope to see your postings .Stay reading the past threads ,Best wishes Marqualler .
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    3. Dr. Nagler

      Dr. Nagler Member Clinician Benefactor

      Atlanta, Georgia USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Yes, I know Paula Schwartz quite well - both professionally and socially. She is extraordinarily knowledgeable. She has tons of experience. She is highly ethical. And she is a very nice person. That's a home run in my book.

      I recommend Paula Schwartz unconditionally.

      Dr. Stephen Nagler
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