Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Cure or enough is enough.

Well to begin with how does one conjecturalise tinnitus? a disability or an impairment or to quote one of Thomas Hardy's characters in 'a pair of blue eyes' an infernal frying of fish?

It is not as if I have not "suffered" from this phenomenon for longer than I can remember which would be well over forty years, but only recently did I assay the possibility that I could actually be rid of it.

Well no parables about Elizabeth Moon's speed of dark here, it came about because one night I was kept awake in hospital by the noise of an oxygen feed, it was actually louder than my tinnitus and at the same frequency so the "infernal frying of fish" for once actually disappeared, not that I got any sleep out of it.

Ok, there has to be some conjunction of circumstances some ontological causal trajectory inside the total perspective vortex as to how I come to be trying out a gizmo.

After over year of discomfort with what is supposed to be "benign paroxysmal positional vertigo" I was finally referred to an ENT, and during that consultation which included a hearing test that I aced, all except for a vital 4 khz in my right ear which commands this story, I mentioned my tinnitus and my recent experience.

Hitherto I have put up with it because I really have known no alternative, but I thought well give it try see what the clinic comes up with.

Well I was much surprised when a month or so later when I actually got to the tinnitus clinic that I was without hesitation given an in the ear gizmo worth about 185 GBP to try out with free batteries for life.

The theory is that the 4khz loss in my right ear is the source of it all, in that having lost that frequency (a cap gun was fired in my ear during childhood) the brain has missed that frequency and turned the gain up to the extent that I have become my own noise generator.

So like a crazed and desperate curebie clutching at straws for relief from the inevitable, I am giving it a try though I don't have a lot of hope. It is more in the spirit of Thomas Hardy again, where he talks in a poem of the Oxen Kneeling at Christmas.

"So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
"Come; see the oxen kneel

"In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,"
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so."

I shan't be disappointed if nothing comes of it, I am a cynic, some things are not meant to be.


Clay said...

Well, I hope it works for you. That "batteries for life" thing is amazing. Most batteries are very expensive here.

The author said...

I have to say the whole outcome surprised me, in that I did not expect that they would provide me with anything. I had to fill out a questionnaire as to the way tinnitus affected me, and I answered no to many questions and eventually came out with a score of 28 on the disability scale they were using, that must have been sufficient for them to prescribe this appliance.

For all our health system is not perfect I can't understand why so many Americans especially those who stand to benefit most are opposed to Obama's reforms.

I know that I am a person who would have difficulty with health insurance, because when I was self employed this was one of the options I was advised to take up.

Well what I learnt was that although the cynical insurance companies would take my premium they would be reluctant to pay out citing pre existing conditions as a get out clause. That was more than twelve years ago and I have acquired a few more since. Thank goodness for the NHS

r.b. said...

My father in law had it...he was retired military.

My favorite expression from the tea party line is "Keep your government hands off my Medicare!" Medicare is, of course, a government program, but it doesn't seem to matter.

The author said...

My dad did too, but was it his military service or was it his later illness and exposure to ototoxic antibiotics or was it his exposure to a continously noisy industrial environment in later life?

There are so many possible etiologies for his tinnitus, but when I was deafened for three days by the cap gun episode in my right ear he told me about the same thing had happened to him during gunnery training. That was some relief to a very scared preteen.

Some bastard it was that did that to me though, but that is school for you some kid deliberatly fired this thing in my ear because he knew that loud noises upset me.

For all his faults my dad did understand my hyperacusis, I guess if you start out more acute the more chance of copping some damage.

Justthisguy said...

Ah, In my case I suspect the Johnny Winter concert I attended when I was 17, for which we had tickets in the third row. I was a bit deaf for a day or so after that, and my ears rang for another three days.

r.b. said...

Beautiful Hardy poem.

The author said...

Well rock music is an occupational hazard, ask Pete Townsend

and then there is Dave Swarbrick of course