I'm sorry that my suggestion about seeking clarification from your cousin only served to confirm your suspicions. It also seems to me that your other relatives are lacking in empathy but this may perhaps be because there is no outward token of your inner suffering. It's not as if you have a broken leg set in plaster or something like that. Would it be any use encouraging them to read the 'Tinnitus Spouse Survival Guide' on Dr Nagler's website ( http://www.tinn.com)? Or maybe the first part of Dr Nagler's 'Letter to a Tinnitus Sufferer'? I am suggesting this because both of these articles are easily accessible and do give a clear indication of what having to deal with tinnitus is like in the early stages. I'd just like to add that I think that you are doing fantastically well given that you have all the stresses of culture shock to adapt to in a new country as well as the language barrier to overcome and a young baby to look after. Lastly, there is someone who posts under the name of 'Stephane' on the RNID UK Forum. I haven't read this person's posts carefully but [from memory] I think they know a fair bit about treatment options in France. You might want to start a thread there with a title like 'Message for Stephane' to see if they can help.
Thanks Murasaki, I will post for Stephane. And I think it was good for me to talk with my cousin. At least I know now what is going on with her.
At least I still have my mom. She understands and supports me.
Cherie, I have deep empathy of your 'suffering'. I too went through a horrible time when my T first struck 8 months ago. Life was so miserable days after days. I was so anxious and depressed that pills were my best friends. I talked to others about my situations and none seemed to fully understand my problem. My wife was doing her best to be supportive, but she didn't understand the extent of my suffering. At one stage even hyperacusis appeared. It got worst to the point I could not go out to any social events, couldn't stand the noises of eating out in restaurants, or going to the malls. Somedays, I couldn't even stand the voice of my wife in the morning. I was staring into an abyss of living a withdrawn, lonely life while the T was screaming constantly at the highest of pitch, resembling scratching glass surface. At times, panic, anxiety and depression were so overwhelming that I sometimes went to sleep (with sleeping pills) not wishing to wake up to repeat the torture cycle again.
The turning point for me was visiting great tinnitus support forums like this great forum, as well as some others like the Success Story thread in another forum. People like DrNagler & Rob show me that there can be light at the end of the darkest tunnel. I put their advice to the practice, by just changing my attitude towards T, by living my life regardless of T, by daring my T without surrendering to its tyrany. I even started a thread called 'Daring my sound reactive T'. Nowadays, I am at peace with my T and living my life as I enjoy it - fishing, gardening, playing my guitar, dancing with my wife, and of course working. My T is in the background. It still has its ups and downs but it has faded in significance. T is losing its power when you don't give it fire. I have ceased worrying about what T will do for this or that. If it spikes, I just treat it like I just got on a cross-continent train ride. It will come down. I also have not worn ear plugs for a few months whereas before I wore them often, even while driving. The hyperacusis just fades and gone for good. In my 'Daring T' thread, I talked about one approach, which is trying to find out how other people have coped well or recovered from T. Perhaps some pointers there can help you. Here is an extract of part of the thread about how other people, including celebrities are living with their T. So keep up the hope. You will be well somedays like most of us. Below is the extract: ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Another approach I took when newly hit with T and hurting quite badly was this - learn what others T people are doing with their lives. Are they all 'wasted' like me? Are their lives ruined totally by T? Not Really! The T veterans on this board are living a produtive life despite their T. Many people I have talked to, including my own dr. admitted that they had T too. Some had it years before, some still going, and yet they have recovered or just doing well living with their T. One thing stands out among them - they don't or have stopped treating T as a catastrophe in their lives. I have also researched and found out that many celebrities have T - Barbara Streisand, William Shatner (Star Trek), David Letterman (Late Night Show) and many famous celebrities in the music world, even legends like Beethovan etc. See this list: http://members.fortunecity.com/nrbq1/tinnitus.html I watch this YouTube clip of Shatner and Letterman and just laughed my head off hearing Letterman say his two-tone high-pitched siren T is like testing the emergency broadcast system non-stop LOL (just his humorous self). See this link: Shatner actually had tinnitus so bad (to him) that he was suicidal for a time. Now he is the spoke person for American Tennitus Association. Letterman is doing shows and still making people laugh night after night while his T is testing the emergency broadcast system. Just so funny. I have also come across a young singer Melody Gardot. In her blog entries on Myspace, she described her challenges living with severe T and H. In fact she said she had to be on earplug all the time. She is also sensitive to bright light, so she has to wear dark sunglasses always. But worst to that, she was hit by a car while cycling and has to walk with a cane just to balance herself. Her conditions are worst than most people. She confesses that she is disable but that doesn't mean her life is disabled. She has gone on to a booming singing career (even singing with earplugs LOL) and seems to have a busy travel schedule doing shows all over the world. She is truly an inspiration. See this link: http://www.myspace.com/melody These people all show one thing - carry on with life with a positive attitude regardless their T's and through them we know this is a reality and this message is what this board is all about. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- So Cherie, don't worry about the struggle for the time being. Look forward with hope and a good cheer. You will be just fine in time. Just be patient and let time and a good attitude do the miracle. Tpeace
that has got to be one of the best posts I've read, and whilst reading it...I thought it was my story! How similar we all are. Cherie, I can honestly say that everything Tpeace has written is good information. I know how difficult it is in the beginning. I too am 8 months with T and I wish I had found this post 8 months ago because it would have given me hope just like I hope it does for you. One day at a time, small steps.....you'll get there.....honest.
awesome post Tpeace- very encouraging for those of us who are still suffering immensely. .......... Agreed. I have copied it to our "Words of Wisdom" thread. smn
Thank you Tpeace.
I would just like to say thank you to EVERYONE on this board, the time you have taken to write about your thoughts and stories and encouragement gives me the strength to go on when I have felt I have none left. BTW I made an appointment with an ENT who does TRT here in france for 2 weeks from now. I am also working on finding an english speaking counselor. I am looking forward to the day I can finally say, "I don't care about you, tinnitus! I don't care what you do and how loud you do it. I'm going to be happy anyway." I am not there yet, but someday I will and I can't wait to tell you all about it.
You have been through alot! Sometimes in life things happen that we wish were different or that we wish we could change, but sometimes all we can do is change the way we view them, and our reaction to them. And sometimes it takes time. And sometimes we can learn from them, and change the way we live today, and look toward the future. And as always, we can count the blessings we do have. I find that can help alot sometimes. you said- I am looking forward to the day I can finally say, "I don't care about you, tinnitus! I don't care what you do and how loud you do it. I'm going to be happy anyway." I am not there yet, but someday I will and I can't wait to tell you all about it. That is a great attitude! You also mentioned awhile back- ......I need to not sit in quiet rooms as much. and - Sometimes near the end of the day I am just fed up with it and need to put some music on to mask it because I just can't take any more. Do you use anything for sound enrichment? Other than as you mention above "near the end of the day "? Many people find that using something they find soothing and pleasing for background sounds (sound enrichment) really helps. Wishing you the best of all possibilities - with and all the changes and challenges you are going through.
Thank you all for the good words. Thank you DrNagler for approving my post and including it into the 'Word of Wisdom'. If my post can help even one 'sufferer' of T, it will be worth all my time to write the post.
Originally Posted by
Maccy TPEACE, that has got to be one of the best posts I've read, and whilst reading it...I thought it was my story! How similar we all are. Cherie, I can honestly say that everything Tpeace has written is good information. I know how difficult it is in the beginning. I too am 8 months with T and I wish I had found this post 8 months ago because it would have given me hope just like I hope it does for you. One day at a time, small steps.....you'll get there.....honest. Maccy, actually 8 months ago, I was as 'wasted' by T as can be to be of help to any one, LOL . I found much inspiration about DrNagler's struggle with his T and the turning around to have the strength to face down T, to consciously choose not to react negatively to T, and to live a normal life not as a sufferer of T. That has given me much encouragement and inspiration, to know that it is doable to break the tyrany of T by consciously changing our attitude to T regardless of its loudness. Living example is a much more powerful teaching tool than just talking theory, and DrNagler and Rob have shown us the way by their example. Thanks to them instead. To Cherie and Bbec, just be patient and try to count our blessings daily. T can sometimes alter our thinking to the point that it seems to be the only thing that matters in life. But we know it is not true. Yes, its sound can be distracting, but it is nevertheless a harmless sound. There are a lot more serious ailments that can afflict the body. This is not for everybody, but during my darkest days when T seemed so overwhelming and life seems so unbearable, I tried to counter it by playing blind for 10 to 15 minutes every morning when I got up. In darkness I aimlessly and helplessly move around the most familiar of places, my own home, to do the morning chorus of brushing my teeth, showering, washroom, etc. Yet I was lost even in my own home. In utter frustration of the helplessness, I would open my eyes later & look out the window to behold the glory of the morning and the beautiful wooded background, and then effortlessly move around to complete those chorus. It was then I realize that many people actually have to cope with much harder challenges in life, and many of their conditions are not reversable. My T, as bad as it was then, would have a good chance of getting better, and a great chance of habituation. Mental game like this helped counter the despair we felt at times in living with a new T. It helps to put T in its proper perspective. If we don't give it fire by fighting it with negative emotion, the wonderful human brain will and can gradually block it off. We can get hardened to the T sound overtime, much like a new soldier gradually hardens to the sounds of war, or a new paramedics getting used to the repeated bloody and traumatic scenes. It takes time, but just trust our brain that if you don't stand in its way, it will do the miracle of hardening to any repeated stimuli and then slowly ignoring them. So be patient and be positive. Take your own time to habituate (and every one will have unique time table) however slow it may be, but it will come and you will be fine over time. Take care, Tpeace
Tpeace posted [in part]:
I found much inspiration about DrNagler's struggle with his T and the turning around to have the strength to face down T, to consciously choose not to react negatively to T, and to live a normal life not as a sufferer of T. ........... You are correct in that the choice not to react to tinnitus is a conscious one, but I really want to stress that the road to that goal is subconscious - because the harder you consciously try not to react to your tinnitus, the farther away from that goal you will find yourself. As I see it, this is not a question of strength or character - it is a question of strategy. smn
You are right DrNagler. That is what I mean. In my case, in a major direction I made a choice to not continuing with the path of forever caving to negative emotions whenever T rings its bell. But on a day to day or moment to moment basis, it is best to not pay attention to T as much as possible, so the brain will stop reacting to it or stop treating T as a threat. For me, this is the best way to stop giving T more fire it needs, and it will slowly fade into the background as far as the mind is concerned.