The Absence Of Silence
Silence, it can be such a beautiful thing… Peace and quiet and everything around you looking so serene. Just gazing to something out there and enjoying the peaceful moment. On days when you're moody or annoyed it can be soooo relaxing. And I truly miss that!
It might sound strange when I say I miss the silence.(I know there's always a bit of noise surrounding you.) But for me it's impossible to enjoy it.
(maybe never again). I don't remember how or when, but one day it was just there… a sound annoying me. A high pitch sound ringing in my head/ears. And ever since it never left.
My first thought was that it was from going to too loud concerts or parties and not protecting my ears well enough, or from one of my previous jobs where I was surrounded by loud machines all day long.
But one day when I was sitting in the couch studying for a test, I decided to take a little break to get some water. From the moment I got up, I don't know what hit me. I felt really strange, my head started to spin like crazy, I couldn't stand on my feet and became really nauseous. In my head there was also a strange feeling of an enormous pressure, which made it difficult to operate. Immediately I sat myself down again, but it wouldn't pass. I tried lying down and closing my eyes, but even then the spinning kept on going… like a carousel that has gone haywire.
I even tried to crawl to the bathroom, but the more I tried to focus, the more nauseated I got. I just couldn't focus in any way. Then I discovered in all the discomfort that if I laid down on a certain side it sort of seemed to stabilise the head-spinning. So after I managed to crawl to my bed I just laid there for hours waiting for it to pass. I was so scared, since I didn't know what was wrong with me.
The doctor that visited me didn't really think anything of it, it was probably just stress for my test… But I wasn't satisfied with that answer, it was just too strange. After doing some research I learned that the head spinning and lack of balance is called vertigo. And also that it is common for people suffering from an illness called Ménière's disease.
This illness has 3 main symptoms:
- attacks of rotational Vertigo
- tinnitus (constant ear-ringing)
- hearing loss
One of the last audiograms I had to take for a job wasn't really good. They said to me that my hearing was far below normal for my age.
Everything pointed in that direction and I thought confirmation or getting to know what else it could be would give me some peace. So I stepped to a specialist (after a recommendation) and he threw a bunch of tests at me spread over a month or so. There where several audiograms taken for almost a year, an MRI, test where see how the inner ear responds and some other weird tests where I had to focus my eyes on a flickering light and then they would let the chair I was sitting on, gently spin around. During that test they also poured water in my ears. The water in my ears in combination with the flickering lights and slowly spinning chair provoked another attack of vertigo. Ugh After those tests the specialist confirmed it to be Ménière but he was still a bit doubtful.
After almost a year I got tired of the specialist's annoying and not so helpful attitude. I quit with the 2-monthly check-ups, since they cost me 80€ (for not getting any help at all). But lately I'm thinking of going to another specialist. The tinnitus is bothering me more and more. The constant noise that only exists in my ears or head is driving me crazy. Cancellation trough noise didn't work.
But maybe I should give it another shot.
I'm also having more difficulties to talk to people in places where there's a lot of noise or other people talking. It's hard to distinguish the different sounds I am hearing. That's making me feel really uncomfortable when I am having a conversation with someone. :(
So if you ever talk to me in person and I make a weird face, it could be I'm just not hearing it clearly…