Here Is How I'm Dealing with My New Tinnitus & Hyperacusis

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by sirokinl, Sep 25, 2016.

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    1. sirokinl

      sirokinl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:

      First of all I would like this thread to stay on a positive mindset, since that is what basically dragged me from the gutter and somewhat back to my old life.

      So here's my story...

      Had been under a lot of stress. Buying our first house, getting a mortgage, working 60 hours a week, doing two studies during the evenings two nights a week. Have been having terrible sleep. Using (natural) sleeping pills with melatonine to try and get some sleep. Often moved to the couch to sleep which was bad for my back and neck. Dragged myself to work and back. Had been having terrible headaches. Drank it away with coffee and paracetamol. Got into fights with my girlfriend over small things related to the new mortgage. Stopped seeing friends because I was too tired. Getting the picture here? Here we go...

      Week 1:
      Woke up in the middle of the night with a ringing in my ears. I didn't think much of it at first. I've had ringing a number of times before after coming home from rock concerts which usually went away after a day or so. This was on a Wednesday I think. By Friday the ringing was still there and it was getting a bit annoying. So I decided to call my GP and plan a visit.

      Week 2:
      I went to see my GP and told him about the ringing. He asked me if I'd been under stress lately. So I confirmed since we've been buying a house, working, studies and all. He told me it was probably stress related. I was a bit put off with that answer so I asked him if he could look into my ears to check if something was wrong. He did look into my ears and saw a lot of wax built up. I've had wax built-up several times over the past few years because of wearing my iPod too much. The wax was too hard so he sent me home and told me to drop some oil over the next 3 days to soften the wax. So I spent a few days of dropping oil into my ears and after 4 days I came back and he cleaned my ears. Perfect! He said. Your ears are clean! So I went home and noticed the ringing was still there. I thought, well maybe the ear was just irritated. Maybe it will go away in a few days. So I went on, got the work, got home, did my studies and listened to the ringing. It was getting very annoying. By now it was Friday. My girlfriend and I were supposed to go out and have sushi with friends but I was so worn out from the ringing that I had to cancel. I felt awful and drove home from work. My mood was very bad by now. That Friday night I searched on the internet for 'ringing in the ears' and that's when the downward spiral started.

      First I read that ringing in the ears is called Tinnitus. So I googled some more, and some more and even some more and after a few hours I had read all the horror stories, it never goes away, my life is hell and finally that poor guy's suicide letter (which I will get back to later). My head was spinning, was this real? Why is this happening? I couldn't think straight. I was so scared! I went to bed that night, unable to sleep, putting my iPhone on listing to very loud white noise all night trying to cover the whole Tinnitus sound. I just didn't want to hear it any more.

      The next morning (Saturday) I was a total mess. My girlfriend knew what was bothering me for the past two weeks, but by now she could see the severity of my mental state. So she told me, let's go outside, get some fresh air. Let's have some nice Saturday brunch like we often do. So by 11am we went to a local restaurant where they serve the best food. I love that place so much. I always order the eggs benedict with spinach on toast and salmon on the side. Apple, ginger and carrot juice to go with it. Absolute heaven, you'd think. But I was shaky. I was still so focused on my T. The whole world looked fake, like I wasn't a part of it. All these happy people and I wasn't sharing in their joy. I was so miserable. So the nice waitress brought the food and I could only just look at it. I tried a bite but I couldn't swallow. It didn't taste the same. Then I just broke down in tears and cried. I couldn't believe this was happening. Two weeks ago I was living a great life in fifth gear. Sure I was sleeping bad, had stress and was suffering from chronic back/neck pain which I was treating with painkillers. But who doesn't do that? Right?

      So my girlfriend asked the waiter to get a doggy back and pack the food for take-away. We went home, dropped the food and went for a walk outside. I calmed down a bit.

      Later that day we went to visit a friend who just moved to a great new place in the center of town. It was good to have a bit of distraction but I'd had to man-up. We spent two hours or so there and then went home again. I felt OK, still hearing the T of course but I was calm. I don't remember much of that weekend anymore but on Sunday night I decided to call in sick from work and stay home on Monday.

      Week 3:
      It was Monday morning when I woke up in the middle of the night to a terrible loud T combined with a massive neck pain and headache. I was like 10 toddlers were screaming in my ear as loud as they could. I couldn't stop it. I couldn't run away from it. This was pure torture! This is where hell for me began. I had a severe panic attack. I just couldn't think straight. I cried and I cried. I was constantly thinking about our new house, how I couldn't work anymore, how we were unable to pay our mortgage, lose my job, sell the house. How could my life get turned upside down in a blink of an eye? The reading of the horror stories on the internet from the prior week were still in my mind. By now they were having affect on me.

      See why I asked to stay on a positive mindset on this thread now?

      I was already thinking the 'S' word. I couldn't see a way out of this. There was no cure! I was crying for ages it seemed. My girlfriend was home that day so she could see how bad I was. She decided to call my GP and tell him about my mental state.

      I typed mental in Italic for a reason here.

      So our GP told her he had a spot available that afternoon. We went to see him and I told him everything I'd been through for the past few days. He tried to calm me down, trying to convince me it was stress related and my ear canal was fine. I didn't want to listen. "Doc, please give me something to calm down." So the kind man wrote an Oxazepam (10mg) prescription and told me only to take a pill in case of absolute panic. He scared me with that statement. I had no medicine experience so I thought this was some kind of super addictive horror drug that could take down an elephant (10mg, c'mon now). I also insisted on an appointment with an ENT to check my hearing again. He told me he'd already looked into my ears and they were fine. But I insisted. He agreed to send me to an ENT.

      That night was hard so I took a pill and by pure magic, I was calm and relaxed. The tinnitus was still there but I was calm. At least I could think straight. So I turned on my fan, went to bed and slept for a good 5 hours. That was more than I've had for days! Unfortunately I woke up with the loud T again. I was still fairly calm, but annoyed. I went outside for a walk and when I got home I immediately listened to see if I could still hear the T. Ofcourse I could. I called in sick for Tuesday again. Told my employer about the whole situation. To my surprise (this is important) he was very understanding and told me to take as much time as needed. That was good to hear, one doom-scenario was taken away (losing my job because of T).

      That Tuesday I had another anxiety attack. It came out of nowhere. I was (important here!) was just sitting on the couch, at home, thinking. Trying to relax, but thinking. Thinking about my Tinnitus. And then thinking about life and what happened. And before I knew it, panic hit me in the face again. My girlfriend decided it was enough. She called my GP and insisted on some psychological counseling immediately. The GP gave a number she could call, but chances are there is a big waiting list. She didn't care, called the number and talked to the psychologist. She told him about the urgency of the situation and mentioned the 'S' word. Luckily, he said, "I have a free spot tomorrow afternoon, I'd like to see him then".

      I took another Oxazepam to calm down and spent much of that afternoon cleaning the house, doing groceries, staying busy. The house was never that clean before! I decided to cook a nice dinner that evening. A hobby I had for years but recently I stopped because of work and other more important things like fixing a mortage (important here). For the first time in a long time I could enjoy some food. Before bedtime I took another 10mg Oxazepam, turned on the fan and had a fairly decent sleep.

      The next morning I woke up, annoyed by the T, but I could think fairly clear. Psychologist visit today. That morning I kept myself busy, call in sick for the rest of the week, did some more cleaning, went for a walk. The appointment was at 2PM but I was half an hour too early because I was afraid I would be too late (yep, that's how my mind used to think).

      The moment I stepped in to the office I was thinking "how did I get here? how did my life get to this point?" I didn't know then that stepping into that office was the best thing for me at that point. Perhaps some of you have experience talking to psychologists about handling your T. I won't go into details too much here but it was basically the whole fight-or-flight thing that we discussed. We decided that we would plan a visit once every week.

      I couldn't believe it. After just that first session I felt so much better. Sure I'm still hearing my T but I could actually smile again when I drove back home. I even took a detour through the park (bicycling here) to smell the fresh again and see people's happy faces. What a great day!

      On Friday I went to the ENT and he looked into my ears. "Superclean! Nothing to see here". Great, now what? Let's do an audiologic test. "Your hearing is great! No loss what-so-ever. You have the hearing of a 20 year old". Great, my hearing is good too. Now what? Actually I was hoping that I'd have hearing loss so I could put a reason to this Tinnitus horror. (Un)fortunately this was not the case.

      I was running into a dead-end here. Which was frustrating, I had to continue searching for a reason and a cure.

      Week 4:
      Decided to go back to work again on psychologists orders, albeit only 4 days a week and shorter days. Worked 6 hours per day on M/T/T/F. Took three Oxazepam (10mg) a day in the morning (7am), afternoon (3pm) and before bedtime (10:30pm). I slept all week with a fan on. Decided to lift my head when sleeping because i noticed the T was less loud when I slept at an angle. My neckpains and headache were getting worse but I felt at least I can think clearly. I've been having headaches for ages so as long as I'm able to handle the T i'll be fine. The week went by with ups and down. I do a lot of work behind the computer and sit on a fairly quiet department so the T got quite annoying at some times. But I tried to focus on my work and even could ignore it from time to time. In the evenings I would spend a lot of time on the internet reading forums, watching Youtube about T. I also ordered a book on how to handle Tinnitus. By now I had been able to turn my panic back into annoyance and created quite a big interest for my new 'hobby'.

      Week 5:
      Another work week. Dragged myself to work. Didn't sleep so well over weekend, even with the Oxazepam and fan. But glad that my mind is functioning properly. The book that I ordered came in the mail. I started reading about what Tinnitus actually is, I read about fear-or-flight and I read about cases where people were treated and managed to (partially) cure from it. This was helpful! Putting Tinnitus into perspective.

      Tinnitus was still playing its monotone symphony, but I was too busy reading that book to get angry or anxious over it. (this was a milestone actually)

      On my day off I decided to go to the sauna and do some wellness. Afterwards I went to ride my bike through the woods. I was a sunny day so might as well enjoy it outside. I could hear the Tinnitus outside at times but kinda annoyed me. I'm trying to enjoy myself here, leave me along will you! I had mixed feelings during that bike-ride.

      During that week I had a dinner appoint with a friend. We went to a fairly loud cafe and had some burgers. I went home and my goodness! The T was so loud! I was surprise, maybe slightly annoyed, but the panic didn't come. I took an Oxazepam and slept fairly good. The next morning I woke up with a terrible headache and the T was still louder than normal, but not as loud as the night before. That day was pretty bad, but not from the T but more from the headache and neckpain. Was Oxazepam making myself feel worse? It's a muscle relaxer, so was it playing with my neck and head? For the next few days I decided to cut down on the daily dose of Oxazepam. The headache got less, but it was still there.

      Week 6:
      Decided to cut down on the Oxazepam and only use it in case of emergency. Guess what, I never needed it anymore. It took about 4 days for headache to go away completely. The neckpain was still there though. I made some appointments with a PT but that didn't do much good. It actually made the T worse. But this got me thinking. How can neck treatment influence my T? That part I haven't figured out yet. Another work-week. I was pretty productive, but unfortunately I made too many hours too soon, in spite of my psychologists advice. Result: tired in the evening, bad mood and raging T. By Thursday I decided to leave work at 3Pm and go for a hour walk during lunch. My goodness did that help. No more blazing loud T but a fairly monotone background 14000 hz hiss. To my surprise the moments where I was not even noticing it were getting more. Not by much but more steadily. I was still careful in noisy situations and covered my ears when an police cars with sirens drove by for example. I guess I was getting a bit sensitive to noise.

      At the time of writing it's Sunday night and I will continue this thread as weekly log. I've been hearing my T all night but I stopped being annoyed by it.

      It's been 6 weeks now. And I've gone from perfect life, to annoyed, to almost suicidal, to annoyed, to noticing it but getting on with my life. I don't know what the next step will be. Will it get worse or will I barely notice it. I wish I could say I didn't care, but that would be a lie. Am I scared? No, but maybe a tiny bit nervous. What I did learn over the past 6 weeks is that the mind is a flexible thing. I learned that with help I can alter the way I think pretty quickly. Surely the Oxazepam help me get back to my senses when I was in that dark place. The help of the psychologist helped me understand the basics fight-or-flight. He also helped me to talk about issues in my life that apparently I had been building up for years. Going outside biking and walking helped me get some fresh air and relaxation in my body. I do breathing exercises before I go to bed and when I get up. That helps. I don't stay at home, but I go to work, earn a living, taking away the fear of losing the house. That helps relax the mind. I will continue my search to get better. Will it be getting rid of the T at all I don't know. But I feel like I've regained 75% of my old life back, and that feels great since I've been at that dark 10% place. Maybe it will feel on itself on the positive side, just like T feeds on itself on the negative side. I'm sure T will have it's good and bad days, but so does life in general. I will probably get many more illnesses in my life as I grow older. I will probably get less eye sight, maybe get more backpains. Maybe my loved ones will die sooner than later. But I've decided to not live in the what-if, maybe. I live now, today is given, I will enjoy it. Tinnitus will not kill me, only a negative mindset and stress will. Or maybe choking on a chocolate for that matter.

      Let me finish up this rant with a great quote from Rocky Balboa:

      Let me tell you something you already know.
      The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.
      It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it.
      You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life.
      But it ain’t about how hard ya hit.
      It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.
      How much you can take and keep moving forward.
      That’s how winning is done!
      Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth.
      But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody!
      Cowards do that and that ain’t you!
      You’re better than that!

      Have a great day.
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    2. billie48

      billie48 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame Ambassador Team Research

      Vancouver, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      Thank you for the positive post and the detail of your progress from being healthy and happy to being suicidal and back to being functional again. It is a tough journey for most new T sufferers who have come to T support sites. You have mastered the concept that our reaction can affect how intrusive T can be. It is a super scary and irritating thing at the start but T is not an end game. We need to give it time for the body to work. Your understanding of how the brain works in the fight or flight mode is very important step fo healing, because now you can understand the mind can sometimes play trick with us, even when it tries to protect us from danger. When we understand this natural protective mechanism of the brain, then we will be able to accept some of its symptoms better and T will not be wreck havoc to our mental stamina more. With that, it is robbed of its fuel to continue its tyranny over us and our lives. Time and positivity will help the healing process, as your case illustrates full well. Welcome again to the site. You are welcome to stay around to help others who are still in the dark tunnel of T sufferings. Take good care. God bless.
      • Like Like x 2
    3. Vicki14

      Vicki14 Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Wow!! Thank you for such an inspiring and detailed motivational post @sirokinl . Absolutely first class and the power of the mind is absolutely crucial in learning to live with T. Go you!!
      • Agree Agree x 1
    4. sirokinl

      sirokinl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      It's been two weeks since my last update and I'm happy to share some great news with you. For some reason my T & H seems to have gone pretty much completely. When I go into a dead silent room and try to find my T I can hear it way far in the distance. I think it's the same level prior to when I first really started noticing it.

      So I've been thinking about what may have caused this change. My ENT has always said I don't have any hearing damage and it might have been stress related.

      One of the biggest stressors for the past few months has gone away, namely getting a mortgage and buying a house. That's all taken care of. I've been sleeping great for a few weeks now. I've been doing meditation two times a day, once before I got to bed and once when I wake up. I've been taking supplemental multi-vitamin and added an extra calcium/zink/magnesium pill and one extra B-12 pill. I've been taking regular breaks from my deskwork (every 30 - 45 minutes I go for a 1 minute walk.. toilet, talk to a colleague at another floor, get some water). I've been going to a PT to address my neck pains, which have gone away.

      Basically I've cut down my stress levels by a great deal. I have not cut down on any of my normal eating habbits. I still eat my spicy food.

      I do protect my ears AT ALL TIME when I go to a loud bar, restaurant or concert by wearing earplugs.
      • Like Like x 1
    5. Thatguy

      Thatguy Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Partying 4 hours, loud music.
      @sirokinl thank you so much for this positive post :) I recently just got T and I used to be depressed and suicidal. Im just 16 and I've had this T for about 2-3 weeks now. This post made me really glad. I just want my T to go away but idk if its stressed related and if it's idk what to do about it. I just want to be like my friends and be social but my T has taken that from me. Much love from Sweden xoxo
    6. Kazue

      Kazue Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ello. I'm just a few months younger than you. My T suddenly came 4 weeks ago and it's still here. It can get pretty loud by I ignore it.
    7. SilverLimit

      SilverLimit Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure, Stress or both.
      Hi @sirokinl ! Thank you so much for your inspiring story! Sounds like you and I have been through a similar situation as far as stress-related tinnitus goes. Mine came on about 2 months ago and is now at that high-frequency "hiss" level that is only occasionally noticable in quiet rooms and when I go to bed. It does still occasionally cause me sleep issues though. I was wondering, did you use a white-noise machine to help you not focus on it so much during sleep? I currently do, but I always notice that my rining is more agitated for a few minutes after I turn it off.

      Thanks again so much for sharing!
    8. sirokinl

      sirokinl Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      The very first few weeks I insisted in having a fan on in my bedroom. I don't know the exact moment, but at some point i decided I wanted to sleep without a fan. For me I think it was important but it kind of made me accept the tinnitus for what it was. And I guess that's when I realized my T was not that bad at all. Then slowly it started to fade away until where it is now, I think around 10%.

      It may sound silly but maybe I was addicted to my T. I remember the first 4 to 6 weeks being on the internet all the time. Reading T and H stories, trying to figure out a way to get rid of it. Then after a while my interest for my T started to fade away, and by that my attention to T went away as well. I guess that's when it started to really habituate.

      Days go by now that I don't even notice it anymore.

      It's been 12 days since I last visited the TT website (looking at my previous post date) so there you go.

      Shoot me a message if you want to talk, because I know how hard it can be in the early stages.
      • Like Like x 1
    9. TinniTom

      TinniTom Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      very loud disco night
      I can just agree with @Vicki14 it is an very inspiring and amazing post @sirokinl !! You described what many of us are going trough. Many thanks for it!

      Maybe you can let us know which book you bought who to handle tinnitus?

      All the best!
      • Like Like x 1

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