ANA Discussion Forum
General Category => Hearing Issues => Topic started by: wrecit on March 05, 2013, 02:51:07 pm
I am sorry if I ramble on here and do not expect any reply's but feel I need to get this out.
I am 41 yrs old, a US Marine Vet of Shield/Storm and an ex carpenter that built scaffold in power plants. I am a want to be happily married father of 4 (18,13,and 13 boy and 7 evil girl) I have had at least minor ringing in my ears since rifle range in about 1990. Up until 3 years ago I was a foreman/superintendent on many of the jobs I was on. Then things started to fall apart.
Back in 1990 I brushed the slight ringing off as nothing. Heavy metal music and gun fire side effects and never mentioned it. A 20 something Marine has no weaknesses. Ear plugs just feel weird so I would put them in when it was demanded by my bosses just enough to get them off my rear. Saws, drills, jackhammers, ect gradually added to the "background" noise I always heard.
In 1999 I joined the Carpenters Union and 3 years later hooked up with a scaffold company and started 9 years of work in various power plants. The noise levels there tend to be so loud you can barely think and I thrived at it, I think in part because I had been living with constant irritating noise for over a decade. One day, I don't remember when, a co-worker was talking about something called tinnitus that his doctor diagnosed him with. We all laughed and said things like "Who doesn't have that" and "Then get a desk job you wimp". After all a real man sucks it up and gets the job done.
After about 7 years in power plants I started to have some minor issues getting to sleep. I tried several "white noise" machines as well as playing the radio at night (music and talk radio) to get to sleep. It worked for a while but it was getting harder and harder to sleep and I started searching for info on Tinnitus. I first found that there is no cure which thrilled me to no end. I started properly wearing ear plugs but the sound dampening only seemed to make the high pitched whine louder (why do we call it ringing when it sounds nothing like a ring?). Taking on more Supervision roles I thought would help out but sitting in a job trailer away from the noise of the plant made the high pitch whine almost as bad as ear plugs.
In 2011 I got laid off from my job, the only job I ever enjoyed. This sent me into a funk and though I did look for work I was quickly loosing my long time fight with depression and collected unemployment and kept telling myself things would get better. The noise in my head though kept getting louder and more maddening.
Well it is now 2013 and I have been sleeping on the couch for almost 2 months because my wife is totally discussed with me. If I were to see a person in my shoes I would say they were lazy pieces of crap. Never doing anything with their kids, sitting on a computer, staying up till all hours of the night then sleeping till almost noon. What people don't see (even my wife who I love but am afraid I have lost already) is me laying there at night contemplating "exit stratigys". Heck a few nights ago I went to the kitchen and stared at the crock that we keep the kitchen knifes in and wondered if I would chicken out if I picked one up.
I came to a decision of sorts a week ago that I should check myself into a "funny farm" but I do not know if the stigma of it or fear of not being able to get out again has stopped me to this point. Something has to change and I know that but I am as afraid of doing something as doing nothing. How did a Marine that refused to let anyone say I was not a hard worker turned into this lump that is typing this?
Vet to vet.
You don't have to go to the funny farm to get help and you don't need an exit strategy.
Get on to the VA website and apply for health benefits.
You don't necessarily need a service connected disability to get them. You're on the computer anyway. You got nothing to lose by applying.
While you are at it look on the right side of the page and check out the links to Crisis Prevention and Mental Health.
There are people that can help you with the depression without any stigma.
Meantime, keep studying the resources for Tinnitus. There may be no cure but there are things that people have done with some relief. Just beware of the snake oil ads.
One of the better places to find realistic information is the American Tinnitus Association:
I was Army, but Semper Fi anyway.
Thank you so much for all you have done for all of us, hopefully now we can help you. There are lots of things that can cause Tinnitus, so as Arizona Jack says, check out the Association to learn more about it and contact the VA for assistance. My husband just recently told me he has Tinnitus and I too will check out the Association, he's a Marine too by the way. My Dad was in WWII and one of my son's is in the Army now. PLEASE give your wife a chance to help you through this, she's probably just waiting for you to let her in on whats going on. A couple of weeks ago my husband and I were living in the same house but not really spending much time together, then one evening he told me what had been going on at work and that his ear and back were really bothering him. He didn't have to say, I'm sorry I've been short, cranky or distant lately, telling me what was bothering him said it all. Things are good again! Please keep posting! Jill
First let me say - Thank you for serving your country, and keeping us all free. Arizonajack gave you some websites to visit. Please take his advice and get some help immediately. Please get any thoughts of taking your life. I see a guy who is a fighter - don't quit now.
I want to tell you a little about myself so you know there are others who suffer like you do. I find it no coincident that you posted. I was about to post about my Tinnitus because I wanted to rant as well. I had a AN tumor removed a few years ago, the noise in my head continues to get worse as time goes on. Last weekend was the absolute bottom for me, I felt like I could not go on, the sound was just over the top. I am told my condition is more neurological, your condition might be different. However, here are a few things I find helpful in trying to control the noise level. Stay away from alcohol, caffeine and all processed meats like deli cold cuts, bacon etc. Stay on a no salt diet, and stay away from MSG, and sulfides. Take an inventory of your diet, see what might trigger the noise to be worse. I also read on the ATA website that vitamin B, Zinc and Magnesium is helpful. You're going to have to try and experiment to see if you can get the sound down to a more manageable level. Arizonajack is correct about the snakeoil, a lot of products out there with promises they can't keep. My doctor has recommended Neuromonics Therapy. I haven't gone that route because I was told it's expensive and insurance companies don't cover all the costs.
I know sleep has become a problem for you, but quality sleep is going to help, so you're going to need some help there. Try some fresh turkey for dinner. If you want to try some medications, perhaps you can get a script for Ambien or Xanax. Xanax will take the edge off. I take a half a pill of 25 MG the nights I think I'm not going to do well.
In all the years I have been a member of ANA, I have never read a post as heart wrenching as yours, and there are many members here with some very serious problems. Please take everyones advice, seek some counseling, and seek out some help for your Tinnitus. True there is no cure, but the goal is to get the noise back to a manageable level.
I hope this helps, feel free to email me directly if you need to talk futher, or post here. I will put you on my prayer list for healing.
God Bless You !!
Thank you for the kind words. I am still here and last night was my weekly exhaustion sleep so I am thinking a little more clearly today (I am lucky to get 5 hrs a night then about 1 night a week it seems my body says time to catch up and I pass out at about 6 am and wake up at about 4pm which the wife just LOVES)
I did talk to her yesterday and I guess it went as well as to be expected. She is so strong and has never been able to understand completely (and some times not even partially) how I can not just get up and "get over it". To tell the truth I don't understand it either.
I have been looking into ways to manage for years and agree with the snake oil that is out there (I used Quietus for over a month a few years ago and it actually seemed to make the noise louder and did not reduce even after I stopped using it) I feel that my Tinnitus is a contributing factor to an over all mental health issue and at this time I am 1 or 2 days away from admitting myself for evaluation. I have tried "out patient" treatment in the past and though I can tell you now that I need long term help to come to grips with my issues I also know I am the type that as soon as thing start to look better walk away proudly declaring "I am fixed". How my wife has dealt with this for 20 years is beyond me but I think I understand what people mean by rock bottom and I need to force myself to go out of my comfort zone to address my issues.
So on a few days (to get things in order) I will be "taking a vacation" for evaluation and hope that I can get back to being a productive member of society because my ego has prevented me from getting help for far to long. On the bright side I live in one of the top medical centers in the United States so wish me luck and I hope that all of you receive the answers to your ailments soon so that we can all live long and happy lives.
Hi wrecit! I`m also a Army veteran who experienced tinnitus for well over thirty years. In the beginning I would get tinnitus spells that would come and go. Working in the subways of NYC over the years didn`t help. The final blow was an acoutic neuroma which really knocked me off my feet. All these years I`ve delt with the agony of hearing noise which could really affect my life to the point of despair.... IF I LET IT! I made up my mind to do the best I could to FIGHT and deal with the whole situation and some how over the years I`m feeling I`m winning this battle. Stay in tune with your family, PLEASE don`t give up hope! Seek all the help you need and you will get pass this. Just wanted to let you know your not alone and a positive outcome is very possible.... Many prayers are with you! Best wishes, Mickey
As another Vet, please do not give up. For you and wife and children take the advice and apply for your earned VA benefits. The process is very easy as I have just completed it.
They do have the help you will need to get this under control. You fought hard for this country and the country (VA) has got your back.
Best of luck
The tinnitus can be distracting and get us agitated especially in bed when "we are supposed to rest and be at peace."
I don't even have divorce papers when my schwannoma cell split!
You want humor---you got it!
Not that this will help - but it was shared on another post - go and find YOUR Tinnitus sound and play it for your wife! Just be careful - it's really LOUD when you test it so turn down the speakers on your computer!!! Here's the link: http://www.ata.org/sounds-of-tinnitus