Have to address this issue of tinnitus again. Hope you don’t get bored of it… (I am bored of it myself… sigh…)
I’ve had my share of tinnitus before the operation, to the extent of it becoming a psychological burden and problem. Sleep deprivation, energy-draining, thought- and concentration-disturbing etc. etc.
Post-surgery I’ve had attacks of tinnitus on my operated right ear. These attacks have been unbelievably disturbing and loud. The first time I had an episode, I was downright scared! It was in the middle of the night, at around 2 am. Darkness all around me. I was lying still, still aching from the surgery wound behind my ear. I was horrified by this new experience. My heartbeat raced and adrenalin-levels rose… The tinnitus turned on very quickly, and felt like if somebody thrust a screwdriver right into my ear (except for the obvious pain that I would have felt if that was the case). It literally screamed sound, no, it was even louder, it was so loud it was on the verge of being painful! And that is LOUD!
In a panic strickened state, I felt desperation coming closer and closer. I turned on music from my mobile-phone, via the Phonak Smartlink FM-system, the loudest I could get on my other ear, thinking I should give my brain something else to chew on, sound wise. And it was as if the tinnitus in my right ear was so loud that it deafened the music in my other ear! I couldn’t even hear the music! I only listen to songs I have listened to for decades, I know them inside out, and still I couldn’t even follow the beats! I kept the music on for some time, and after a while I grasped the music, knowing in which part of the song I was, and when the chorus came and so on. I kept listening for quite a few songs, trying to force the tinnitus terror to subside. But it didn’t…
Very weird and scary experience!
After the first attack, which left me more or less sleepless that night, I’ve had several more attacks. I’m a little less scared, because I know the attacks will stop after a while, but it’s still as intense!
I have found one common trigger for the attacks, and that is fatigue. When I’m really tired, and have been using my hearing in the other ear, plus lipreading and utilizing all my brain’s resources in order to communicate verbally, the attack comes all of a sudden. It’s like turning on a switch!
I have been able to fall asleep, even though the attack is running in full mode. I use a trick that my girlfriend thought me; I listen to the sound, and I look for a melody in it. It’s very much like meditation when I get to that stage, and then I’m able to relax. That is the key to handling tinnitus for my part: to relax. And of course, it helps to be near dead of tiredness 😉
This post was written a week ago, and since then the attacks are less frequent and less “violent”. That is a relief. On the other hand, I have this constant tinnitus that I have had for many years now… The only difference from then and now is that I have no other sound to mask the tinnitus with, as I’m waiting for activation 🙂
I tried my old hearing aid on with a lot of sound, but now it’s just void (except for the beeping tinnitus, of course) in my right ear…. Nothing…
Can’t wait for it! September 7th is the big day!