Monday, February 27, 2006

Your head is humming and it won't go...

Are you a member of the ultra buzzing Tinnitus Club? Do you have either a perceived or an actual high pitched ringing in one or both eardrums that never goes away? If so, then you know all about Hell's Bells, the ones that keep on ringing 24/7, the ones for which there is no cure, the ones that especially plague you in the middle of the night. Previously the ailment of choice for rock stars and fog horn operators, tinnitus threatens to reach epidemic proportions with the iPod generation. Indeed, it is the direct assault of sound coming from headphones that does the most damage, more so than loud noises in open air, which have some degree of buffer to them. Also head injuries are said to contribute. I believe I picked mine up from a combination of hundreds of hours of blasting studio headphone "cans" (from my musical youth) and at least four traumatic blows to my skull (a golf ball thwacked from 100 yards, an iron fire hose nozzle dropped from a fire truck, a heavy punching bag which fell on top of me, and getting kicked in the head repeatedly by Portuguese marines). I've been meaning to sit down with a piano to figure out exactly which notes play in my head, but they are way up there which thankfully makes them easier to ignore (tinnitus in the dog world must be genuinely crippling). There are at least two main notes, and a few much lower notes that come and go quickly (like comets) every so often. There is also a persistent fluttering in my left ear which may or may not be related. The hearing in the right ear is poor as is the sight in my right eye (if you're sitting on my right side at a dinner party, please don't take it personally if you don't get the attention you'd like).

So, am I sounding like a kvetchy grandparent yet? Good, because here's the part where it all turns around and I start sounding like a regular crazy person. I've come to a radical solution regarding tinnitus, and I call it the "Joan of Arc Cure". You see, I have trained myself to think of these grating noises as my muses. Voices from beyond calling me towards some true and obscure destiny. They are here to keep me on path, as if to say: We are the annoying alarm that always sounds to wake you from your temporal slumber. We are a sonic tattoo that reminds you to listen deeply and to persist. We will make you just nauseated enough so that you can not bear any other nausea that might arise from being untrue to yourself or harming others. We are also the relentless mosquitoes that drive you inside - where your greater instincts and creativity lies.

Would I get rid of my tinnitus if I could? You bet. But I'm glad to have had a relatively benign example in my life of how living with adversity can push one beyond the comfort zone ... and off the deep end!?


Blogger pigatschmo said...

Have you bonded with Dad on this, who hears crickets lately?

9:10 PM  
Anonymous said...

Pretty effective data, thanks so much for your article.

8:13 AM  
Blogger Farkad Khan said...

Please help me

2:06 AM  
Blogger Farkad Khan said...

Onion juice does work in tinnitus

2:07 AM  

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