Today I Start My 21st Month... Am I Habituated?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Kathi, Jul 2, 2015.

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    1. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress
      I work 40-46 hours a week, I cook, I clean, I attend family functions, I do my errands, pay my bills, etc. I still hear my tinnitus mostly all the time --even over the tv or my diesel truck-- but other than fleeting frustration sometimes, I don't have an emotional reaction. I have good days and bad days. I've had four days in a row of very low tinnitus but it comes back with a vengeance--when I haven't changed anything. I do notice that I get distracted and forget about my tinnitus for short periods of time but as soon as I stop being engrossed in what I'm doing--I hear it. It doesn't stop my sleep and my relationships are doing well. I don't allow it to change my plans but sometimes I grow tired of knowing that every morning it will be there and sometimes, it just wears me out. Am I habituated? Is this as good as it gets? Do my friends that have tinnitus but only hear it when they think about it have mild tinnitus or is this a place I might reach someday? I know, so many questions. I'm just thankful that I'm not a young person. My heart goes out to those who are young and suffer.
       
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    2. valeri

      valeri Member Benefactor Team Awareness

      Location:
      Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      09/2011
      It may not be a "text book" habituation where you don't care about it no matter what, but if what you have works for you I say congratulations and lets hope it continues to improve!
       
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    3. jimH
      No Mood

      jimH Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      30 years+
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      What you described is about as good as it ever got for me. My T volume has ranged from moderate to loud since 1978. The only exception was the time period from late January until mid May of 2014. That's when I experienced the very scary level that some people refer to as catastrophic or debilitating.

      I believe, from what you describe, that your friends may have either low or moderate levels of Tinnitus if they only hear it when they think about it. When it's loud, I hear mine when I'm driving at 80 mph with all of the windows down and the radio turned up very loud. I actually did that just to confirm my suspicion.

      That said, I think that all we can do for now is appreciate and enjoy those days when it's either moderate or as in your case, when it's very low.
       
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    4. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress
      Thanks @valeri --it may still keep improving. Don't get me wrong, I'm doing okay mostly. I just wanted some feedback on what to expect so I can check my expectations before I'm disappointed.
       
    5. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress
      Good advice @jimH --I do try to enjoy the lower T days. It's just that I never know when they will occur. :) I really appreciate you telling me how it is for you. Like I said to valeri above, I don't want to have false expectations of someday reaching the place where my friends are--one only hears it when you mention it or she thinks about it and the other friend actually has to try to hear it. It only recently occured to me that they might have mild tinnitus even though one friend (the one who actually has to listen for T) did freak out during onset (like me). They've both had T for over 10 years and I thought maybe time would bring me to that place if habituation didn't--guess that doesn't hold true either as you've had it much longer. Thank you for answering.
       
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    6. erik
      Breezy

      erik Manager Staff Benefactor

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      I would say yes. Habituation is different for everyone. I consider myself habituated. Other than concerts, T doesn't prevent me from doing anything and I am very active. Also, I would agree that habituation is a lot like life....a continuous work in progress. I have times when I am aggravated by it and other times when I could give a rats ....you know what about it...thankfully, the tipping balance is way more towards not giving a rats ass about it then aggravation.
       
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    7. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Hey Ms. Bewitching Eyes, so here you are at 21 months! Last month, I received my two-year trophy points from Tinnitus Talk. Hard to believe its been that long.

      And just like you, I keep thinking: Is this habituation? I've been through Neuromonics. I've had a lot of CBT. I tried acupuncture, took benzos (no more). The way you described your feelings, your days and your progress sounds very much like me. I can pretty much hear my T all the time -- but often, when I am very occupied with things, I will go for an entire day without noticing it. Sometimes, I feel pretty worn out. But more often, I feel pretty good -- and grateful that I am so much better than I was two years ago. I am hoping I will continue to improve. But if this is as good as it gets, I'll accept that I have to take it. Like you, I am not young, soon to be 60. I am sure aging has a lot more indignities in store for me.

      It's hard for any of us to say we are habituated, as even the medical community does not have a definition for it. You have come a long way, @Kathi, through doing whatever you could to help yourself and keeping your chin up. You should be proud of yourself.
       
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    8. jimH
      No Mood

      jimH Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      30 years+
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      @Kathi ...You may still eventually get to a better place than you are now. Let's hope so!..(y)
       
    9. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress
      Thanks @erik --it is good to have input from others who walk in the same shoes...I think as newbies we think of habituation as some kind of ideal--that once reached we will go on as if we do not have tinnitus. I know now that habituation, while so much better, is not a 'cure.' I will continue as always, one day at a time and be grateful that my reaction is mostly one of not caring and that mostly, I have my life back. Hey, it really wasn't perfect before tinnitus, why should it be perfect now? :)
       
    10. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress
      Thank you @LadyDi for such kind words and support--brought tears to my eyes.

      It is hard to believe that so much time has passed--it's been a journey alright, and I thank you and all the kind, supportive posters that have helped me along the way and continue to help me. Some days I'm on top of it and on some days I still get frustrated, but mostly I'm okay--and okay is a good thing to be.

      I admire your strength and your compassion.
       
    11. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress

      Thank you! The place I'm in is okay...and I'll keep some hope --but I don't want false hope-- waiting to achieve something that may be unattainable.
       
    12. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Hey @Kathi, I think your post to @erik said it all: Mostly, you have your life back. And: life never will be perfect. For all of us, there will be ups and downs.

      Never forget how amazing you are. I have learned a lot from you.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    13. Kathi
      Balanced

      Kathi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      NJ/USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      10/30/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      HFHL and stress

      I don't know what you could've learned from me--I've just been trying to live my life and not go back to that dark place I was in at onset and for about six months-- but you are one of the kindest people I've ever met online. Thank you so much.
       

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