It Has Been 7 Years with Tinnitus — I Manage to Live My Life

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Adaś, Feb 1, 2020.

    1. Adaś
      Curious

      Adaś Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Switzerland
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headphones, Stress, Rock concerts
      Hello everyone,

      For 7 years, I was a passive reader. Until now. I believe I owe you my story and how tinnitus made my life and myself different. I prefer to call it just "different", because in some aspects the mental torment from tinnitus has led me to where I am now, and without it I would be certainly someone and somewhere else and I am not sure I would have accomplished all what I have.

      I always had a passion for the music. My father brought me into it, but at some point my music journey diverged from my father's. Around 1991 we moved from the flat into a single-family house. I got my own room, first Walkman, some old reel-to-reel tape recorder and 8-bit Atari running Chaos Music Composer. At that time my parents also installed satellite TV and I started regularly watching MTV after school. It was the time of Grunge and Nirvana & Soundgarden became my favorite bands. I was at the age of 12.

      Since then I was listening to the music really a lot and I was into making some music too. I played keyboard, started learning to play guitar. I dreamed of being a musician. My parents were not supportive though. I was never playing music too loud. I understood the basic concept that people may become deaf from loud sounds. Nevertheless, it was just a crude simple understanding what hides under "deafness" umbrella term.

      Fast forward, I went though the high school, then university - accompanied by the music. I was listening to the all genres, but I particularly liked (still like) Progressive Rock, Jazz and Metal. I was occasionally going to concerts, but not very often. In the beginning was rather careless about hearing protection, never heard about earplugs, like everyone around me I knew.

      I remember one particular concert. King Crimson around 2002. It had certainly a great impact on my hearing. It was much much louder than everything before. When I arrived at the site, there were some paper sheets sticked around with a message "This concert will be loud, make sure you have sufficient protection". I had no idea what was that. Nevertheless nobody there cared about providing any protection, even cheapest earplugs, given that the tickets were rather expensive. I was there together with my friends and my girlfriend, who is my wife now and she was also affected. That concert was more like a torture than a pleasure. Sound was distorted by the excessive loudness. I had some paper towels in my pockets, so I was sticking them into my ears, still it was not enough, so I was putting fingers in my ears too. Yet, people around were mostly listening with their ears "wide-open". After the concert I first fully experienced the high-pitched ringing in the ears. Before, I knew only the low-pitched humming in the quietest moments that has soothing effect on me. The ringing eventually disappeared in few days though, but since then I started carrying earplugs at concerts.

      Fast forward again, in 2012 my son was born. I was working at home as a freelancer while doing PhD studies. I was under lot of stress with my own business, small baby, PhD and helping my parents. I have no siblings. I was using headphones to get some isolation from the surroundings in order to move forward with some work. I was working a lot. In the beginning of 2013, we were often watching some cartoons on my iMac computer. I was often alternating between built-in speakers, external speakers and headphones. Constantly putting the plugs in and out. One evening when I was tired, plugging my new headphones, I was completely unaware the volume was set all the way up, I blasted my ears. That blast took maybe 1-2 seconds, but I knew something was wrong afterwards - I had this sensation of being struck in the ears. Tinnitus did not appear immediately. I panicked - what just happened. I started reading about what loud sound exposure can do to you. Then at the age of 33 I discovered that "loosing of hearing" is more complex than just not being able to hear "well", as I thought before. Also I started learning about existence of tinnitus - exactly when it arrived to me in next days. As if I have created something that did not exist before and it has been delivered at my request.

      Next months I was desperately looking for some help in the hospitals, consulting many ENTs and other specialist, slowly realizing that if this does not go away by itself there is no other cure. Additionally, there is no common agreement that this is a serious problem and no common approach to avoid this. Most of the doctors I have met, were understating the issue, convincing me that I am making a big problem out of nothing. I realized almost nobody cares about it. You can buy some audio hardware that can almost instantly ruin your hearing if you are not careful. Concerts are played so loud that sooner or later you have some problems with your hearing. Nobody feels responsible. And that passion for music becomes eventually a curse for many, including artists themselves. That was a turning point.

      Just not to make this text any longer, during my 7 years of my struggle with tinnitus, I went through periods of hopelessness, when my father finally died after lengthy fight for his life - I was a witness and a participant. Some moments were really bad, but then I decided that I have my own family and there is no better option than to stay alive and be useful to others. I had to finally accept I am not same person anymore, stop blaming myself and realize I can still have a meaningful life. I managed to finish my PhD. 3 years ago we moved to Switzerland. Now I work on improving cancer treatment devices. I am still passionate about music. When my tinnitus is not bad I play my guitars, synthesizers. When it gets worse I just wait and do something else e.g. reading books, playing games, cooking, hiking... reading Tinnitus Talk forums. There is still some hope in me that things will get better either for me or for the others, but I try live my life regardless of anything.
       
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    2. Jack Straw
      Balanced

      Jack Straw Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      US
      Tinnitus Since:
      1990s
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Infection, Acoustic Trauma
      Thank you for posting this!
       
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    3. Tweedleman

      Tweedleman Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      2001
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown/Noise
      Welcome. It's awful when we become a victim of the music we love. I also didn't understand the full picture of hearing damage until it happened to me.
       
    4. Lynny

      Lynny Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      December 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown, possibly stress
      Thanks for sharing your story! Glad to hear you’re doing ok. Wish you all the best:huganimation:
       
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    5. billie48
      Sunshine

      billie48 Member Benefactor Ambassador Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      03/2009
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      not sure
      Thank you for sharing your story. You have overcome a lot and still achieve academically and professionally. You may consider adapting your story to post it in the Success Stories for all others to learn your wisdom and strength in surviving bad tinnitus and still thrive in life.
       
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    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Adaś
      Curious

      Adaś Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Switzerland
      Tinnitus Since:
      02/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Headphones, Stress, Rock concerts
      Thank you and everyone for your responses. I wish I could call my story a success. But the story is not over. I don't know my future. I remain in a state of a fragile balance which gets disturbed by many normal life situations that often come unexpected, but are not exceptional and objectively hard, especially for someone without the burden of our condition.
      I wish I could find some way to strengthen that balance, get some confidence that this does not get worse without being over-protective and too much socially withdrawn. There are still too many unknowns, and their number grows over the time.
       
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    7. Christopher805

      Christopher805 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      May 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Neomycin
      Thank you for sharing your story. It’s a reminder that everyday is a balancing act with tinnitus. I pray that a cure is found.
       
    8. OnceUponaTime
      Busy

      OnceUponaTime Member Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Location:
      New York
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/11
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise
      Thank you for sharing your story.
      I am glad you have found ways to cope with tinnitus.
      There is more to life than just existing with tinnitus.
      Best wishes to you.
      Once
       
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