Sharing My Story Might Help Me, So Here Goes

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by BrekkenTJ, Oct 11, 2017.

    1. BrekkenTJ

      BrekkenTJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Dear TT people,

      So, after periods of apathy, anger and then anxiety attacks, I have now come to the stage of self-pity (which I hate) and daily crying sessions. Somewhere I'm thinking that telling my T-story to fellow (ex-)sufferers might help, moreso than telling it the GP/ENT/future psychologist. So, here we go.

      I have had T since I was 16, very mildly admittedly, but scary enough to make me avoid clubs/going out mostly. Still, I kept on drumming, and as time (and my drumming skills) progressed, with each band-gig, T would grow louder. In early June, one night I noticed it to be particularly loud (not noticeable during the day), which made me decide to quit the drums after I had finished up my C-diploma in drums, and 2 huge (for our band) gigs, in August; Just to be safe. A gig in our hometown, for ~1000 people, would have been a good end.

      But, that wouldn't do it: 1 week before my examination, 4 weeks before gig#1, my T was audible over the TV, after praccing hard for my exam. I freaked out. I quit drumming two days later. My band, who are also my family, were sad at first, but angry a week later; According to my aunt, who was very dear to me, 'I had left my family in the dirt, and my Tinnitus was 'made up' basically'*. My teacher dissapointed, but understanding. Me, depressed, angry at my family for not trying to understand me at all, angry at myself for not quitting earlier, when T was still manageable. So manageable, that before late-June I had considered myself one of the happiest, most optimistic and thankfull people in my environment. Everything I did was a succes; Valedictorian at high school, great grades in university (medicine), some nice side projects (ear research, extra science courses, the band), won a bunch of competitions; I was out there crafting my future just the way I wanted it to be; drumming in a band, becoming a doctor (which I wanted since I was 8) and doing scientific research (which I wanted since 15 yo).

      3 months later, I'm struggling to keep up with learning material, and was/rarely am considering suicide. I can barely do anything besides university itself, which looks horrible on the CV, something the medical world is very concerned with. I have, on many days, lost the enjoyment in the small things; Whisky on the couch, or preparing a talk just right, on a Sunday evening. I am obsessed with thinking about Tinnitus, even when I can't hear it (which thankfully, is the case outside and @university), I end up closing my ears to be aware of what I'm ignoring. I dread the fact that what I probably have, cochlear synaptopathy, can't be treated, even though we know the effect of NT3 on SGN regeneration (reason for me to quit my otology research, keeps triggering me into this though). I dread the fact that, when NT3, or a drug analogue, comes by and regenerates SGN-synapses, mine might have died of already. All because I couldn't develop T in 10/20 years, like most drummers do (without hearing protection), and I couldn't stop myself drumming earlier, when I wasn't bothered by T at all.

      I have had to quit my passion in drumming, I have gained a horrible, disabling disease and lots of psychologic drama because of it, and everyone in my surroundings is doing great, had the funnest of holidays, got a cool internship in some ward of the hospital and goes out weekly without wearing ear-protection: Still they can't stop complaining about the fact that they're 'stressed', don't want to study or something trivial like that. They're all perfectly fine, healthy and succesfull people, and all they can do is complain about the little things. Even though they know I'm fucked up atm, I still feel very lonely because of this. I lost it all in about one month.

      I'll be 19 in 3 days, and I don't know whether I'll be able to enjoy my birthday. Will my T be loud enough that day to drown out any conversational enjoyment? Will I allow my self to become 20 years old? Will I be happy again by then? Will I be able to take care of patients, if I'm this f'd up myself? What if X, Y or Z went differently? What if I had played piano, instead of drums?

      TT people, thanks for reading, and thanks for all the succes stories. There probably is hope on the horizon, and I'll probably be a fine doctor someday, but now, it all seems miles away. And that's my fault. I still have lots of things to be thankfull for, happy about***, but often, non of the these bring me enjoyment.

      -BrekkenTJ (my drumming nickname my family reffered me by)

      *She was right, T is indeed a brain disease
      ** All despite me always wearing 70 dB of hearing protection; Foam earbuds + industrial earmuffs. My teacher even asked me whether I could even hear the drums, he thought me overprotective. At the same time he had never heard of a student developing severe T @18 yo because of drumming. Great.
      *** My current grades for 'competencies' en medical knowledge are still far above average

      P.S. My family situation has improved, my ex-band members (cousins/niece) understand me now, and well, my aunt/uncle; not forgiven, but forgotten, I suppose (from their side, I haven't forgotten, sort of have forgiven)
       
      • Hug Hug x 3
    2. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term NIHL and recent acoustic trauma
      70db of hearing protection does not exist
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      BrekkenTJ

      BrekkenTJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Hmm, guess you can't add up SNR values then? 38 for the foam plugs, 35 for the earmuffs.
       
    4. Bobby B
      Fine

      Bobby B Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2015
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      long term NIHL and recent acoustic trauma
      Yeah
      The max you get is maybe 35db NRR as it's logarithmic
       
    5. Red
      Crappy

      Red Member

      Location:
      Northeast USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise Exposure (Headphones)
      You are dealing with so much that it is incredible that you can even keep up with it. You have suffered but I do admire the effort you put in. Not a lot of people could do what you do. Hope is a very important thing to hold onto and on that now I wish you success with your education.

      What really grinds my gears is your aunt's reaction. It is very easy for someone to react this way when one's condition is invisible but it is still nonetheless just… A lack of empathy. It is very sad when we can't trust our own family with something as simple as "I'm hurting can you please help me?" Ignorance and apathy are a disease that we actively need to combat. I hope that in time that your aunt will understand and that you may be able to forgive her for her callousness.
       
      • Friendly Friendly x 1
    6. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      The rule of thumb to compute the NRR when combining two hearing protection aids is "the highest NRR of the two + 5 dB)". For the numbers you provided, the combined NRR is 38+5 = 43 dB. Having said that, I am skeptical that foam ear plugs can have NRR of 38 dB. They are most likely at most 32 dB.

      Search for the words "How does wearing dual hearing protectors change NRR?" on
      http://www.coopersafety.com/earplugs-noise-reduction
       
      • Informative Informative x 2
    7. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      • Informative Informative x 1
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      BrekkenTJ

      BrekkenTJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Red

      Thank you for the encouraging words, looking back I myself can barely even fathom how I've kept up with 'not doing something stupid' without drugs as well as university in general (in the bloody top 10th percentile!). But indeed, hope's the only and most important thing to latch onto in those times, and as such, I hope for you that you find peace with your T and (chronic?) pain as well.

      And yes, those kinds of people really grind your gears. To add: after she, in September, had heard that I was practically suicidal, she still was convinced I should have pushed myself further into the hole of tinnitus, just for the happiness of her two children getting to play gigs with me (not that she said in that way of course). So, now that I'm doing fine-ish, she'll be even more convinced of that. That's people for you. Thankfully I've got lots of other great people around me though.

      @Bill Bauer

      Aah, thank you for that info, clears things up quite bit. Also, just to add, but I spoke to an audiologist specialized in T today, and he in his career had never even seen a case quite as peculiar as mine: Being the heavy ear protection and (as shown by new audiograms) bilateral 20dB loss at age 19. He was somewhat baffeled actually, and for the first time he agreed with a tinnitus patient that avoiding loud stuff, even with hearing protection, is wise.

      As for you reccomendation, I'll keep it in mind! I've got plenty of protection everywhere, so should be fine. Whether or not my T subsides; we'll see. It would make my life a bit easier, but I'm not actively begging for it at the moment, as that only increases T. Still, I'll remember :)
       
      • Like Like x 1
    9. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Make sure to expose yourself to Some sounds. You could watch videos at moderate volume (or the highest volume that doesn't seem to bother your ears, whichever is lower).
       
    10. marc 1974 london

      marc 1974 london Member Benefactor

      Location:
      London
      Tinnitus Since:
      8
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise i think ? stress
      do you find listening to some things makes it worse? not loud just the pitch
       
    11. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      I know many people here have this symptom. I don't believe I do, although it is possible that some pitches like that exist for me too, but I have been able to stay away from them.
       
    12. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      BrekkenTJ

      BrekkenTJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Bill Bauer

      Don't worry, I'm only using hearing protectors when someone with normal otological health would be advised to use them as well, indeed don't wnat to induce H by offering even less input than a weakened cochlea already is offering.
       
    13. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Keep in mind that our ears have been compromised, and a noise that a healthy person would not even notice is often enough to give one of us a (temporary or even permanent) spike. So you might wear hearing protection even when a healthy person would not want to wear it.
       
      • Agree Agree x 2
    14. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      BrekkenTJ

      BrekkenTJ Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2011
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Bill Bauer

      Thanks for the clarification, was mostly planning on that yeh. The way I think of it is that at any point sound is louder than what our evolution as a species considered to be normal (so, basically louder than stuff we did 2000 years ago), I'm wearing protection. So, includes the hair dryer (though, I've got a quiet one :) ), mowers, agricultural equipment as well.
       
      • Like Like x 1

Share This Page

Loading...