Kimberly Brown: Trying to sleep through tinnitus

Posted on January 15, 2015

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Kimberly Brown

Sleep is what rejuvenates you and help you get through the day, keeps you healthy, and keeps you SANE.

As a chronic insomniac it is a wonder I am not a crazed, drooling, needing a padded room and straightjacket person every day. I am sure my toddler is grateful that his Mommy somehow manages to function daily on what amounts to subpar sleep.

Everyone has trouble sleeping at times, caused by illness, stress, too much caffeine before bed, indigestion, or rampant thoughts running through their heads.

Last night I dozed off early but when my husband came to bed, I was wide awake. I tossed, turned, tossed and turned for an hour after that and came downstairs. What was keeping me up you ask? Two things that plague me nightly, achy joints, restless leg syndrome, and this SOUND.

This SOUND in my ear, which last night was a raging motorboat engine type of sound. Tinnitus has been plaguing me for years, since my teens, and always seems to keep me up at night.

It never stops, and there are days it’s quiet and almost non existent. It changes too, in loudness, in tone, even sounding like morse code being tapped in my ear.

WAIT… But aren’t you DEAF? How are you hearing things without your hearing aid or sound processor? I know, that’s the kicker. Tinnitus is an Auditory Illusion. I am not really hearing the SOUND, my stupid brain thinks it is.

When I received my cochlear implant, they told me it might make it worse, and it might make it better.

The first few months after the surgery was horrendous, the SOUNDS were constant, ever changing, and so LOUD. I constantly marvelled that I wasn’t broadcasting it to everyone around me.

Since then it has gotten better, I have more good days and nights than bad. Right now though, even with the sound processor on, I can still hear the SOUND circling around in what feels like my ear canal. Incessantly spinning, whirring, high pitched sound of an alarm of some kind.

At night I sometimes lay in bed and wonder if some alien got into my head and planted some kind of radio transmitter. Certainly sounds like it in my head at times, tapping, beeping, whirring, roaring, and ever changing in volume and speed.

Yeah, it’s a wonder I am not in a padded room, in a straight jacket mumbling about aliens and how they’re coming, and screaming at them to get out of my head with how little sleep I get.

I count myself lucky to get five or six hours in a row of unbroken sleep. Most nights though it is broken up or non existent, and sometimes I do wake up wondering if I slept at all.

I’m lucky my toddler has always been a good sleeper, because waking up to take care of him when I finally fall asleep is the pits.

It does happen though, and as I am not working, I am the one that gets to go soothe him, and check on him. Then I start all over again trying to ignore the sound and fall back to sleep.

SLEEP, how I love thee, let me count the ways…

ZZZZZZZZZZ…………………………..

Sorry, guess I dozed off there…

Kimberly Brown comes from Portland, in Ontario, Canada. She was previously a teacher, retail salesperson, and office administrator. She’s currently unemployed and blogging. She’s also a mother to three kids and blogs at: breakingsoundbarrier.wordpress.com. Check out her Facebook page of the same name here: www.facebook.com/breakingsoundbarrier

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