Winning the Battle!

Discussion in 'Success Stories' started by Matt C, Jun 26, 2019.

    1. Matt C

      Matt C Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:

      My tinnitus story began about 6 years ago. I was at work listening to music with ear buds, took them out and all of a sudden I could hear this slight 'eeeeee' ringing, almost like a hiss. It drove me mad for about a week, especially when I was driving or when I went to bed at night. But, I soon got over this and hardly noticed it as it was pretty mild. I would rate it at about a 1-2/10 in terms of volume.

      Flash forward to May 2017. I was in the shower and out of nowhere I got dizzy for a few seconds, it really freaked me out as I felt like I almost fell out of the shower, we were heading to a family party and I was even scared to drive. Once we got to the party I settled a bit and everything felt a bit better. Later that evening we had just left the party and once in the car I noticed the tinnitus. It was the ‘eeeee’ ringing with hissing sound. I knew I had very mild tinnitus before this but this was much different, it seemed it went up from a 1-2 to 7-8/10. Needless to say, I got really worried. Anxiety took over to the point where I couldn't think or focus on any task, there was a few days where I felt like I couldn't get out of the car to start work! The tinnitus consumed me, I was in full fight or flight mode.

      I went to see my doctor a few days after this and she noted that I had an ear infection and said everything would be back to normal once the infection cleared up. I made a point of going back to see her every week after this to check the infection, since I had noticed no change in the tinnitus. After a couple of visits she told me the infection was gone, but my tinnitus wasn’t so I got really worried. I got a referral to an ENT. I actually got to see two different ENTs, both equally useless. The first one told me to turn on a fan at night and the other only said that it looks like I might have some ETD, that was it. I pushed one of them to get me into an MRI, at this point I feared it might be something worse and wanted them to scan my brain and ear. Thankfully, this scan came back negative but I still had no answers.

      Over the next months I couldn't help but google search everything related to the tinnitus looking for an answer, a cure, treatments, trying to find connections to my allergies, my posture, TMJ issues, anything. This constant search started to affect my work and personal relationships. The tinnitus and anxiety consumed my thoughts. In my opinion, this actually made things a lot worse since my mind was focusing on the tinnitus 24/7. First thing I would do every morning is listen to it and the anxiety would take over, feeding the tinnitus, feeding the anxiety, a vicious cycle. In these first few months I lost 25 lbs, had frequent armpit sweat, and every morning (full disclosure) I would have very loose stool. I’m sure this was due to the anxiety. Funny thing was I had no trouble sleeping even with the tinnitus raging. I think being asleep was an escape and I was so tired ALL the time.

      I almost gave up. I recall driving home from work and contemplating veering into a semi-truck to get this all over with. But the thought of leaving my family and friends like that called me back and I thought about the driver of that truck who would have to live with that too. I decided I needed to do more than just google search for answers and take actual steps to get this beast under control. I felt at this point that the ear infection somehow damaged my ear and the tinnitus was the result. I could learn to live with the tinnitus but I really needed to get away from the anxiety, this was the worst of it.

      I needed to snap out of this somehow, I realized that I needed to take steps to seriously control the anxiety and accept the tinnitus. The answer would never be handed to me, I needed to take control. It didn’t happen overnight, its been about a 2 year battle, but I am winning!

      What did I do?

      · Psychologist to calm the mind (Found out she has tinnitus as well)

      · Physiotherapy to calm my body (Found out he has tinnitus as well)

      · Mouth guard at night (I thought perhaps my TMJ was the issue)

      · Yoga to clam body and mind

      · Workout at home and being more active

      · Visiting this forum for those dark days when I needed a little pickup

      · YouTube Julian Cowan Hill

      · Guided meditation (I found some great 20min sessions on YouTube, check out ‘The Honest Guys’)

      · Reduce alcohol consumption (never been a huge drinker but have really cut back)

      · Make a point to get 7-8 hours sleep

      · Take 30min – 1 hr naps when I can

      · Protect my ears! I always wear earplugs now when cutting the grass or working with power tools

      · Cannabis! I have always dabbled J but since it has become legal in Canada I am now able to buy weed from the government that I know is safe and I know what strength I am getting. I don’t smoke daily, maybe twice a week and not much, just enough to mellow out. It has really helped me. I know for some it would have the opposite affect but for me it actually brings my anxiety down a bit.

      This has been an absolute battle. But I am winning this! I can honestly say that my tinnitus has come down in volume. Initially I would say I was about a 7-8/10, 24/7. Now I have days where it can be down to 3/10. On really good days I don’t even notice it for hours until I do and think “Oh yea, its still there”. I am well on my way to getting my head back in the right spot. Using the tools I have at my disposal, I can control this. Never thought I would say this but sometimes I think that this experience has actually been a good thing. I now take better care of my body and mind. I am 35 years old, have 2 kids, a beautiful wife, a home, and a great job. Best to sit back and enjoy the ride and not let something like tinnitus ruin it for me.

      My advice for those going through the worst of it now… You are NOT alone. I found through this journey that many people have tinnitus and continue to live a normal life. Don’t let it control you, take control and find out what helps you. The tools I listed are what helped me, I would recommend any of those :)

      To quote Winston Churchill…

      “If you’re going through hell, keep going!”

      Peace and Love to you all!

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    2. Core2Duo

      Core2Duo Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise induced
      Great news!

      Have your tinnitus changed since the beginning?
    3. AUTHOR
      Matt C

      Matt C Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Yes. It still sounds the same but overall has come down in volume. When I am tired or have nasal congestion I find the volume increases. I use to get sudden 'fleeting tinnitus' several times a day up until about 6 months ago. I would feel almost like a pop and then high volume ringing for about 15-30 seconds before it dissipated back to what I consider normal now. I might get these a couple of times a week now.

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