Hi, I'm Alex

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Alex Senkowski, Jan 21, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. Alex Senkowski
      Tolerant

      Alex Senkowski Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      I am 28 and was diagnosed with otosclerosis 5 years ago. My hearing loss was moderate by the time I was ready for a stapedectomy. I got the surgery during May of last year and it was initially a success. My hearing in my operated ear got steadily better until October when, for no obvious reason, it relapsed. Not only that, but the tinnitus came. At best it's a mild humming that, for a few hours each day, swells into a loud droning with high-pitched undertones.

      I had to wait a desperate month for an MRI and CT scan to reveal what had happened. Scar tissue formed around the plastic prosthesis in my operated ear and possibly caused nerve damage. So now my hearing has degenerated back to how it was before the surgery and I'm also saddled with the damn tinnitus which is probably permanent. My surgeon said that corrective surgery runs a high risk of making things worse and the best he could do for me is prescribe me a hearing aid and tranquilizers.

      For those first two months since the relapse/tinnitus began, I could function quite well because I treated it like a temporary ailment that will go away. I could sleep well and tolerate the tinnitus. But during the holidays I experienced an inordinate amount of stress and that made the tinnitus a lot worse. I began losing sleep and during those nights I finally realized that I was 28 and afflicted with hearing loss and tinnitus that will probably get a lot worse as I get older. My protective wall of denial had come crashing down and even without the tinnitus hounding me, I was crippled by the relentless terror of what the future would bring.

      I was prescribed clonazepam and that calmed me down for two weeks until it ran out. That was a week ago and now I'm back on the terror treadmill and barely getting by with a zopiclone prescription that gives me a few meager hours of rest each night. I know that I'm in a loop that began during the stressful holidays but I don't know how to escape it. Will I become a deaf-man by middle-age? Will my tinnitus increase and drown out everything?

      Please, talk to me.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
    2. Jeff M.
      Cowabunga

      Jeff M. Member Benefactor

      Location:
      La Jolla, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct. 2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
      Alex, First, welcome to TT!! So glad you joined us!! You are going to find an enormous amount of support, encouragement and info here!!Log on often!!

      I am sorry to hear your story, that really sucks! And I know precisely where you are emotionally/mentally, because I was there once too (still occasionally visit!)!! I call it "The Pit"! That place we go to in our minds that we find and see nothing but hopelessness and despair. I was struck with T Oct.1 2012, and by Jan. 2013 I was an absolute mess!! Up until then I have always been very positive and laidback. I am a lifelong surfer, married to my beautiful wife and have 3 amazing sons! Life was good. Tinnitus (T) (at least I thought during my time in the pit) robbed me of all of that!! Destroyed my life. I couldn't sleep, I had panic attacks, and even ended up in the ER because I was think "bad thoughts". IT was horrible!! (Hang in there with me Alex, it gets better!!)

      BUT, around June 2013 I chose to take my life back! It took time and effort (quite a few cry it out sessions, and I am not a cryer!). But I got pissed at my T and decided to fight. I too was/am on clonazepam (Klonopin) and that helps. I have become physically active again, which makes me naturally sleepy. I do breathing exercises daily. I socialize more. The ringing is still there, but I got my life back!!

      As you browse around TT, you are going to find all sorts of resources to help you and a bunch of great people who know exactly what you are experiencing and are here to support and encourage you. You WILL get through this bro!! I thought my life was over, and it's not!! I pray for peace and encouragement for you!!!:)

      :welcomesignanimation:
       
      • Like Like x 3
    3. Jeff M.
      Cowabunga

      Jeff M. Member Benefactor

      Location:
      La Jolla, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct. 2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
    4. Alex Senkowski
      Tolerant

      Alex Senkowski Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Thanks Jeff. It's just so damn frightening for me because I still haven't figured out what I want to do with my life yet. I'm stuck between the otosclerosis and the tinnitus and always terrified that both will get catastrophically worse before I'm 40. It's great that you have a family to dedicate yourself to and help put your T on the back-burner.
       
    5. Jeff M.
      Cowabunga

      Jeff M. Member Benefactor

      Location:
      La Jolla, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Oct. 2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Idiopathic
      Alex, Yeah that's gotta be rough withe addition of the otosclerosis!! :eek: T is bad enough!! Both of these terrible distractions have the capability of really interrupting life. Especially because you are still trying to figure out what you want to do with your life! But try your deep down hardest to not let it paralyze you!! See if you can get on a better med to stabilize you right now. Talk to your GP, get a referral to a therapist or psychologist. Isolate something, even one thing that brings you joy (exercise, music, reading, etc...) and DO THAT, and lot's of it!!

      The most important, paramount thing that needs to happen in your life soon is to STABILIZE! Forget about the future, don't worry about the years to come, concern yourself with the days to come. What can you do to get yourself calmed down, more centered and able to start making clear decisions on what needs to be done to improve your quality of life. Baby steps man! Whatever friends and family you have (along with new family here on TT), draw them near and share what's up and ask for support!! Focus on Alex today, not Alex at 40! Take care of yourself now, and Alex at 40 will be just fine!!
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    6. Alex Senkowski
      Tolerant

      Alex Senkowski Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      Feeling much better today after a long-delayed good night's rest. My shrink put me on a strict regiment of meds and has assigned me to a CBT group which I'll hopefully get into. I hate being prescribed so many meds, but it's better than the alternative of having no strategy at all and hoping things will get better on their own.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    7. gary
      Transparent

      gary Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Macomb, MI. USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who Knows
      Hi Alex, Jeff has given you very good advice. I am glad you got a good nights sleep, some meds and into CBT, You will benefit from it. Sounds like to me like you have a strategy started....
       
    8. Alex Senkowski
      Tolerant

      Alex Senkowski Member

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Otosclerosis
      I haven't gotten into the CBT group yet, but I'm still feeling alot better since seeing my shrink two days ago. The med regiment is all I have to hang on to until I learn how to properly manage my anxiety without the use of meds. I actually was part of a CBT group three years ago, before I had any real problems, and slacked off in attendance because I'm one of those people who rarely finishes what he starts. But now things are VERY different.
       
    9. gary
      Transparent

      gary Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Macomb, MI. USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Who Knows
      Yes things are different now, but just keep reading the forums and you will find comfort in the posts you read. Good luck with the CBT, better stick with it this time;)
       

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