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saab1216

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Posts: 400
Reply with quote  #1 
MY STORY...It started out in 2008. I had just discovered the joy of my first mp3 player. I found myself wearing ear buds and doing most everything with those ear buds in. Music became an addiction to me, once more in my life. I was always into loud rock music along with seeing concerts at small clubs,stadiums and arenas. I experienced change in my life and joined a church ministry band, along with a secular band on the side. I played actively in a band during 2002 and 2003. In retrospect ,I never expected the calamity that I was about to face in 2008. Well, as I said,that mp3 player became constant in 2008 for about 6 months. Sound exposure didn't end there though. I became active in a new computer game that was freely offered by the U.S. Army to actually promote military mindfulness to prospective teens and young adults. It was a free download on my p.c. so...I followed suit by joining the simulation.
Hours upon hours every night,after work and on my days off, I played. My wife became bothered by the sound of animated carnage so I opted for headphones. My boldness ,coupled with ignorance of loud, warlike realism, became entrenching in my brain. I would turn up the volume a bit louder each time just to better audibly monitor other players stealthy ,cunning moves from dark hallways and relentless stairways. In an instant ,I heard a metallic tap...tap...tap...of something coming down the stairwell leading into a weapons cache area. With one sudden blast....BOOM! Then it was over. I threw my headset off my ears with a sudden shock. It followed with laughing in delite from the realism. I never knew the real hidden "damage" it caused.
That night, as I lie in bed, I heard a distinctive ringing like never before. Now, I've known that sound from the aftermath of loud concerts but this was newer. It was almost deafening. I shrugged it off the best I could and figured it would pass by morning. Weeks followed and the ringing continued.Louder and louder things became. Now ,even the bathroom sink was at enmity with me. Showering was a new debilitating task too. I opted for foam earplugs to shower with. I never wore earplugs for anything but shooting firearms...now the unthinkable!
I went to see my ENT dr. and was immediately referred to get an M.R.I. He, of course ...wanted to rule out anything really serious. Deep down,I wished that anything would show conclusive evidence but, my x-rays were clean. More weeks followed and my desperation became unbearable. I started to take notice of the refrigerator becoming louder and louder. The old c.r.t. Sony Trinitron started sounding louder and much sharper.
Each day brought on new undesirable events of peculiarities. One morning ,my wife's voice cut through me like a hot knife. The sipilance of her "esses" were hard to endure. I desperately called hearing centers and even rescheduled another appointment with my ENT. Again, I was given the clean bill of health. My hearing was just fine...so he said. I called another hearing center last on my list. The woman on the other end of the phone quipped out to me to see a psychiatrist. Before abruptly hanging up ,she said hyperacusis. I wrote the word down and began my long research through the Internet.
Its was on the Internet that I discovered The hyperacusis network. My first contact was with a woman named "Peachoid". For the first time in months,I finally touched base with another person who knew..who...understood. Well..moving forward ,I found a listing for Audiologists that practiced TRT. I learned that it was possibly my only hope to get help. I scheduled my appointment and waited in pain another month to be evaluated.
The weeks passed and my wife drove me 3 hours away for my testing. I had LDL (loudness discomfort readings) in the lower 70s region. I had slightly improved from where I originated from months earlier. It was still not enough. I was placed on TRT and shelled out another couple thousand dollars for wearable sound generators. They were painful and uncomfortable at first. Weeks to follow were not promising. It seemed that my money was spent in vain. I slept on the couch at night haunted by painful burning deep in my ears. Sound ...any sound was spelling pain. I tried sleeping pills and quit cold turkey after they failed to deliver.
I suffered night terrors. Realistic nightmares..I didn't sleep for 3 days straight. I opted to take valium just to try to handle the stress at work each day. I got absolutely no time off from my job. My audiologist didn't necessitate it. Why? I will never know. I missed a honeymoon type of vacation to Hawaii with my wife that was planned months earlier. My audiologist assured my wife that I could handle the 14 hour flight. I almost went but, changed my mindset only days before the trip. I let my wife go with her family as I stayed home in the dead of winter. Knee deep snow and the deepest depression I've ever known.
Sound became distorted. Music,my passion was now a complete strange entity to me. I had background/foreground reversal . Subtle nuances became loud intrusives hammering away in my ears. Acoustic guitars felt like ice picks in my ears. Bass was extremely reduced to nothing.As a bass player who loved to listen to the bass in music,it was an awful experience. A couple of years of loudness and I started with music therapy. I learned a great therapy from a man by the name of Rob, who introduced it on the hyperacusis network. Within only a few weeks, I noticed that traffic was less noisy. I continued with music therapy and loudness continued to diminish at snails pace. Seasons passed. Birds of spring began to hurt and cicadas in the late autumn night also spelled painful. Loudness was only a few notches down. Now, a new symptom emerged. Misophonia. I kept my focus on sound enrichment with constant white noise ...nature sounds and music. Over a period of 5 years I was able to re establish my sound tolerances and today I live a normal life.
Sorry to cut my story short here but, I consider myself extremely fortunate. It was by no means easy to beat but , I persisted with sound and rarely wore ear protection. I stayed physically active and rewarded myself above and beyond. Relaxation,exercise with positive outlook in life will help. Just focus on the success stories and stay course on positive notes that inspire. There are those that will help.Listen to them who have succeeded. There is hope in prayer.Things don't always get fixed overnight..so look ahead. God knows I almost gave up.

Paul H.

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Thierry

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Reply with quote  #2 
Nice to hear it is going good!!
So you didnt re estavlished your sound tolerance with the ear generators. Only soundtherapy and white noise?
I attended a couple of loud environments last year (with earplugs 33db) My hyperacusis is now that Some voices hurt at time and traffic televisions refrigurators and so on are louder.
I know and hope my hyperacusis Will settle down after weeks. It happend also couple of months ago after an intensive week in curacao and two 8 hour flights. You have tips for me what to do? Keep doing the normal things right and alsways pink or white Noise at night?
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Thierry

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Reply with quote  #3 
Sorry i now see your post at my topic. I Will get help from a professional in hyperacusis that is my plan
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AnthonyO

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Reply with quote  #4 

I have recently read Saab1216's story here on the Network, and even better yet, have heard it from him directly.  In going on my fourth year of hyperacusis, tinnitus and all it's adjacent brother & sister auditory companions, I have met many people who share in such similar anomalies; some by e-mail, some by phone, some live-in-person and some I have become good and trusted friends with.  However, I have never met another person who has overcome so much of his or her maladies, than Saab1216.  He has been a true example of courage, strength, perseverance and mostly compassion...to me.  And I totally, 100% mean that.  I encourage you to read many of his past posts here on the Network, and you too will find a person who has once felt the very devastating sting of auditory infliction, but has indeed come back from auditory death and is now experiencing all that "life-after-hyperacusis" has to offer.

 

AnthonyO
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saab1216

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Posts: 400
Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks..my good friend. That means a lot to me.
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DanMalcore

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Dan
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Reply with quote  #6 
Saab

Thank you for sharing your story.  You will be an inspiration to many.  I too live a very normal life but there are times that I must wear ear protection.  Yesterday I attended a funeral of a dear clergy friend and the organist was blowing the roof off the church at full volume.  I handled it for 45 minutes but finally pushed in a half of foam earplug to get through the service.  My wife is always a good barometer of when sound is extraordinarily loud.  When she nudges me with a look in her face that says - this is crazy loud I know it is not just me who thinks that way.  In a loud environment I resist ear protection unless it is excessive.  Your story is most appreciated and I could relate to all of it.  I am glad Rob was able to help you out.  He is an amazing guy.

Dan

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"Yesterday is ashes, tomorrow is wood, only today does the fire burn brightly"
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saab1216

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Posts: 400
Reply with quote  #7 
I owe more thanks to you Dan. This site was a lifeboat when my world was sinking in despair,back in December 2008.I read some success stories and held onto them as a dream to fulfill one day. Each day,each month became darker but,I was helped immensely by a few dedicated souls on this network.I hope my story offers the same hope to those who are just stepping into this uncertain time of their lives.
May God continually bless you and your wife for being your guide.

Paul H.
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