Hudson's Life

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Hudson, Jun 10, 2013.

    1. Hudson

      Hudson Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      I never made one of these introduce yourself threads, so this is my go at it.

      I went to a rock concert when I was 17, in January of 2004 (I had my wisdom teeth removed about 5 weeks prior to the concert, to this day I still don't know if that had anything to do with it. My jaw still clicks kind of to this day). I left the concert with my hearing sounding muffled, and drove home that night. I was in the mosh pit with my girlfriend. I was holding on to her so we wouldn't get separated, meanwhile she was plugging her ears multiple times throughout the show. I woke up that night with my left ear ringing with a steady tone. I fiugred that would go away. I woke up the next morning and it was still there, so of course I became a bit concerned. After about 3-4 days of laying around the house worrying about it, I woke up and the loud ringing had subsided. What was left was this somewhat quiet hissing/static sound that had seemed to migrate into my head. I worried about it for a while, avoiding loud sounds at all costs, wearing ear plugs in movies etc.

      I can't remember when it happened really, but I slowly habituated to the noise. I had an audiology appointment, and they told me that my hearing was "good" and I didn't show any kind of loss. I thought that was strange, because I had tinnitus but they told me there was nothing that could be done and that I should live with it. I started reading again in bed before sleep. I slept without a fan (interestingly enough, my tinnitus has always been audible over a fan, I just liked it because it was something else to listen to as opposed to the fan. It wasn't so loud, it seems like it was more just that it was so high pitched). I started hanging out with my buddies and partying more. I eventually transferred to a university. I remember thinking that I would probably need hearing aids by the time I was done with college; I had consigned myself to that kind of a fate.

      College came and went. During that time I was what I would consider habituated to my tinnitus. It seemed like it had not gotten any worse. I would go to bars, dancing with girls, hanging out with friends and things seemed to be fine. I was no longer bothered by my tinnitus at all. It was there, but it was a non issue for me. Granted, I would have liked it gone, but I didn't consider it a major life issue any longer. I finished school, and I did not need hearing aids like I had predicted I probably would. Things seemed about the same.

      Fast forward a few years, girlfriends came and went, and I moved to get a job after I finished school. I was in a bar in February with my friends in Nashville, TN. They had no live band, but had some music playing on speakers in the bar in there. It seemed a bit loud, but nothing too bad so I figured I would be fine without popping my ear plugs in. After I left the bar that night, my hearing seemed a bit muffled but that cleared up pretty quickly. I didn't notice much for about a week after I got back. Then, after I moved I really began to notice that it seemed like my tinnitus was louder and more intrusive than before. I could hear it in more settings. Of course, that set my anxiety about it off and I became un-habituated over night. I found it interesting how quickly someone can become unhabituated to it if it changes or gets worse. I hoped for many weeks that it would subside and go back to its old level.

      Now, here I am. I've been taking buspirone, clonazepam and lexapro for the anxiety. I'm at .375 mg of the clonazepam, which I want to finish tapering off of. I have been taking it since mid March. The buspirone doesn't seem to help with my anxiety much at all. I'm not sure if it is or isn't, but the lexapro seems to make my tinnitus more loud or intrusive the next day, setting off my anxiety. I have been at 5mg of the lexapro, and when I bump it up to 10 mg at night, it seems like that causes it to go higher.

      My anxiety and depression about the whole deal have been through the roof. I feel very lethargic if I'm not in the middle of a panic attack. I don't feel like doing much at all besides trying to sleep or get through the day at work. My girlfriend came down from Minneapolis to see me this weekend, and said something that really hit the nail home for me: "I miss the old Zach.". I miss the old me too. I have felt boxed in. A prisoner in my own head. I do stuff now that I never used to, like forgetting the keys in the car or being so nervous that I knock stuff over when trying to do the dishes. My therapist told me that I need to work on acceptance. I have a really hard time accepting that my tinnitus is worse than what I had gotten used to. To make things worse, now my thoughts are concern that it's just going to continually get worse for me over my life.

      A fan or something going on now seems to almost make my tinnitus get louder. It seems like the tinnitus fights to be heard. On top of that I notice a low rumbling sound in very quiet environments (although I noticed this years ago if I was in a very quiet car as well or something). I have been having some tempor tympani issues, where sounds make my left ear flutter. That wasn't happening before I began taking the clonazepam, so I think it's due to that and will probably subside once I taper off of the clonazepam. I guess that statement about missing the old me really hit home yesterday, and I felt like venting somewhat.
    2. Robert Fahey

      Robert Fahey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Jan, 2012
      How long have you been on the antidepressants?
    3. AUTHOR

      Hudson Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Going on 5 or 6 weeks now. I have never taken the full dose more than a few times because it seemed to make my tinnitus worse.
    4. Robert Fahey

      Robert Fahey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Jan, 2012
      If you're taking three meds, it's hard to know what is causing which benefit -- or which side effect. Your dysfunctional condition could be chalked up to any of these (!):

      Lack of sleep
      Side effect of any of the meds or combination of meds

      How to untangle this ball of twine, I'm not sure, but it seems you'll be better able to isolate cause and effect when you've whittled down to one med.
    5. Job

      Job Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Hi Hudson,

      I'm down to .25 mg klonopin daily. Been taking it for a little over three weeks. I won't bore you with my klonopin story (no bad side effects ... a bit more anxious now, probably because I'm taking less). I don't think it has changed my tinnitus much, just made me care a lot less about it. But it has seduced me, and saying goodbye is hard, so I know where you're coming from.

      I also think I habituated to what I believe was noise-induced tinnitus from 2009 (woke up with T and crackling in my ear when I chewed ... where did the crackling come from? Dentist saw no TMJ ...). Then, a speaker went off near my right ear 2 months ago, and then my barber held his improperly adjusted clippers up to my left ear that made it flutter hard 1 month ago. I'll be giving myself my own haircuts from now on.

      Like you, I hear my T in more environments now, which is distressing. Unfortunately, both ears are now quite reactive (rising to meet the ambient noise around me), just like with you and the fan. Sometimes the left ear is louder, sometimes the right.

      I like to think that things are improving, but we'll see. So, I'm at the 2 month mark with my right ear, and the 1 month with my left ... The volume of my T has increased; I can live with that, but the damn reactiveness of it is what gets to me.

      Also, like you, I currently save all my energy for work and sleeping. I think this is natural. I've more or less dropped off the planet with regard to my friends and coworkers. I go straight home after work and don't go to lunch with them. If they really are worth worrying about, then they will still be around and understanding when I do get back to being the "old me", which I am sure will be sometime in the next 2 years ... hoping for 1 year ... ideally by Thanksgiving/Christmastime ... wishing for August. If they want an explanation, they'll ask me, and I'll give them one.

      But to be honest, I don't like all the things about the "old me", so I think this is my chance to turn a new leaf. That is the only positive side of this.

      I have been reading through the Yuku forums, and there is a pretty knowledgeable guy named Rob there who charges his T "rent". Well, today I opened a math book (calculus) and tried learning some things. It was either my brain or my T that was furious; for some reason, I can read all day about tinnitus on the internet and obsess about it, but 5 minutes of learning calculus was absurd to my brain/tinnitus. If my tinnitus is going to be in my brain and not help me out with anything, I might as well give it undesirable roommates.

      With regard to it getting worse, I also have that concern. I was always careful, and so were you; you went 10 years without an incident and I went 4 years. Needless to say, I think we'll both be much more careful from now on and there won't be any more incidents, unless the T decides to randomly get worse ... mine didn't over the past 4 years and yours didn't over the past 10.

      One question I keep asking myself is: If my T was this bad back in 2009, would I have gone as far with my life as I did up until 2 months ago? I don't know.

      And hey, at least you have a girlfriend. Nothing going on over here.

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