Taking It Day by Day

Discussion in 'Support' started by jmccombs82, Nov 16, 2013.

    1. jmccombs82

      jmccombs82 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 29, 2013 at 10AM
      I just wanted to write something a bit different. These last few weeks have been incredibly trying for me. My ringing/hissing/chirping continues to fluctuate and increase/decrease in volume. I find that I am cautious of external sounds (I am not sure if my ringing is noise induced or the result of a virus), and recognize that increased stress raises my noise level. I have become somewhat of a hermit. I explain these last few weeks to friends as if I was submerged in a cave trying to make peace with this new addition to my life. I imagined myself coming out of the cave extremely cautious and vulnerable. I am still protective of who I talk to about this. I still manage to break down in tears every time I talk about it, but crying is part of my healing/grieving process.

      I have cut out a lot of my "old" lifestyle choices. I have not had a drink of alcohol in 3 weeks, no more coffee (my poor french press looks so sad sometimes), I eat well (bye bye salt), I exercise (yoga, daily walks, meditation, biking), I try to get good sleep (this has been a tricky one...prednisone bringing on insomnia and now currently talking 10mg of amitriptyline...), and I make sure I reach out to my support network. I am not sure if my ringing will go away. There are moments where it is incredibly silent and I find that silence itself becomes frightful and then there are moments when no matter how hard I try, I hear nothing but the roaring sounds inside my head.

      I took a walk today at one of my favorite trails and used the time to listen to one of my favorite shows, NPR's Fresh Air. The interview was with Canadian Astronaut, Chris Hadfield. I have attached the link to the interview for anyone who cares to listen. It was a wonderful interview that focused on his 6 month journey in space. At one point in the interview he talks about how astronauts have to confront their irrational fears in order to live for months at a time in space. He goes into detail about how astronauts have to confront their fear of death...because any malfunction in space could be their demise.

      I am not comparing ear ringing to death; however, there are moments when it is difficult to think of anything else. We preoccupy ourselves with our own internal dialogue, beliefs, fears, and panicked thoughts about how our ear ringing has changed our lives. Chris Hadfield embraces the fact that he may die but he does so because he believes his purpose outweighs the risks. He recognizes that for every day he spends in space he will need at least 2 days on earth recovering from intense pain (bone deterioration and the body re-learning how to circulate blood through the body with gravity). He describes the recovery period as terribly painful and debilitating; however, he recognizes that the purpose is greater than the risks. I believe his recovery is also the result of persistent positive/optimistic thinking.

      I guess what I am trying to say is this...truly living takes courage. The body that houses us is complex and tangible and forever changing. We can never assume that our body will hold up its' end of the bargain and let us age gracefully, and yet we get so upset when it starts to fall apart or change without our permission. Learning to love the capsule that encloses us isn't easy. When it falls apart some of us get upset and force it back into motion no matter the cost. For others, we nurture and baby it with hopes that it will restore itself to our expected normalcy (Chris Hadfield talks about the power of the body rebuilding itself). In reality, our body is constantly changing and highly responsive to it's environment. The ringing, no matter the cause, is the result of our body responding to some external or internal stimuli. It changes and finds a new level of homeostasis, which for us can be quite the dramatic change. Darwin spoke about the importance of adaptation and mentioned that a species will die if it cannot adapt to its' new environment or habitat. Accepting that change is the only constant in our lives is difficult. The ringing is our new habitat, which in turn causes us to build new external environments to support this change. It takes practice, courage, patience, and acceptance. It is not easy, but incredibly possible.

      For some of us, the ringing can make each day feel as if we are climbing mount everest. For others, it becomes easier with time. For most, it is learning how to accept the new us and be OKAY with the new us. For most, it is remembering to BREATHE. For most, it is confronting the irrational fears that keep us from living our lives.

      To end, this support network has been part of my solace thus far. I get relief in knowing that others are trying just as hard as I am. I did not mean to ramble on this post...I was just inspired by the interview and wanted to share my blessings with all of you. Please take about 30 minutes to listen to the interview...it is a good one :)

      Interview: Chris Hadfield, Author Of 'An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth' : NPR
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    2. meeruf

      meeruf Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Wow. That was beautifully written. Thank you!
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    3. Jill Edmonds

      Jill Edmonds Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Meeruf I agree - jmcombs82 should be a professional writer!

      I visited Norway many years ago with my parents when I was 17 and my father was studying post grad surgery in Britain.
      While I am an Aussie, I have strong connections with Norway as my husband is Canadian of Norwegian origin.
      Welcome to Australia all my fellow T friends - we can listen to the ocean and the songs of the kookaburras.
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