Morocco, February 2012
I think you’ll need to sit down before you start to read this post. It might even be a good idea to have a cup of hot, sweet tea to hand – I understand it is beneficial when someone has had a severe shock, so it could come in handy. You’ll definitely need to give yourself a bit of time to allow the contents of this post to permeate your brain. In fact, you might need to read the whole post several times as you will probably find it difficult to believe your eyes.
Now, go and make that cup of tea and find a chocolate biscuit, for good measure.
It’s OK. Don’t worry. I’ll wait for you.
Ah, good. You’re back. Are you comfortable in that chair? Would you like an extra cushion? No? How about a footstool? What was that? You want me to get on with it? Oh, OK. Brace yourself…
Here it comes…
Today’s post is all about…
Today’s post is not about…
That’s right! For once, I’m not going to drone on about fatigue!
See? I told you it would be a shock. Ha ha ha. Right, let’s get on to today’s subject which is tinnitus.
I have suffered with tinnitus for around 40 years. The severity has varied greatly during that time, as has the intensity of the sounds. What has also varied has been the sounds that the tinnitus produces. The sounds that go through my head include:
- a continuous single note. When I say a single note, what I mean is that that one note continues steadily, without varying in tone or intensity – a monotone
I remember one particularly difficult evening when I first noticed that the tinnitus could produce different notes in each ear. Oh my goodness! On that occasion I was hearing different notes in each ear, extremely loudly. It was incredibly intrusive and distressing. In recent years, the sensation of a different note in each ear has become commonplace.
So, why am I going on about tinnitus in a Fibro diary, you may ask? Well, I would also have wondered that when I first set out on my epic expedition to the densely populated planet of Fibromyalgia. I had no idea, when I first embarked on this adventure, that tinnitus can be one of the symptoms of Fibro but, boy, do I know it now!
I am very lucky that I have little pain from my Fibro but I suffer from many of the other symptoms and, one that is particularly troublesome is tinnitus. Over the course of my Fibro, my tinnitus has become far worse: it is intrusively present for, what appears to be, most of the time, the volume is very much louder and it is considerably more difficult to ignore. I often find its effects distressing. For years I have tried to avoid being within hearing distance of ticking clocks because the sound triggers a similar one in my head, which continues for a long time and is very unpleasant to experience. With the ticking sound it can be tricky to figure out whether the noise is real or ‘tinnitic’. (I don’t know if ‘tinnitic’ is a word – if it isn’t, I’ve just created it!) In any event, I find that situation distressing.
I am also finding that my hearing of ‘proper’ sounds is being affected by the loudness of the tinnitic sounds. The tinnitus is so loud and overwhelming that, sometimes, I struggle to hear things like the television. Listening to someone talking in the same room is easy, (unless they are talking rubbish! Ha ha ha) but technologically reproduced speech is harder to make out, occasionally.
I have to say that, although I very much appreciate being pretty much pain-free, some of the other Fibro symptoms that I experience I could well do without, and tinnitus is most definitely one of them. Are you listening, Fibro?