Friday, November 04, 2005

Make It Stop

Today was my first visit to the doctors since I've moved to California. I gotta say that the ones in Manhattan Beach are pretty sweet. Well, architectually speaking of course. Once inside it's the same unorganized mess of paperwork and moody front desk attendants that you would find anywhere. The doctors are nice though, and all high tech with their wireless template PCs walking around entering data where ever they please.

The reason for my visit was a two part problem. The main reason, the ringing in my ears. I figured I'd get my right knee checked out while I was there cus that's been bothering me a little lately. So as we can see no life threatening illnessess so to speak, problem number one. Problem number two is I'm the only one that can hear the ringing in my ears, so I'm the only one that knows how frickin' annoying it is, and being a DJ and lover of music I would consider it very life threatening.

A few of you might remember me mentioning my problem every now and again back in the day. I've had a very faint ringing in my right ear for ages, at least 8 years. I can't even really remember when I went and had Dr. Cook check it out. Of course, he had no idea what it was. "Let me poke this cold thing in your ear and take a look around. Hmmmm, no infections, no redness, no pain. Looks ok to me. It'll probably go away in a week or so." The ringing was so faint that I could only hear it if I really concentrated on it or if it was extremely quiet. Fast forward 8 years. The begining of the week on my way to work it started in my left ear. Now I can hear it in both ears and it's noticeable 24 hrs a day. Thank god it's not keeping me awake at night. It is making it difficult for me to hear some times though. The problem is that the ringing is the same frequency as certain sounds we hear on a daily basis. So, if the frequency we hear on a daily basis is quieter then the one in my head it masks it out, if it's louder my ears go kinda nutty. All week I've been asking people to repeat themselves depending on how noisy the environment we're in because they get masked out. For instance, on Tuesday while at lunch with a co-worker all I could think was, "Get me the heck outta this noisy deli so I can make out what this person is saying and not act like I'm deaf." I sorta feel like there's a little fluffy cloud just hanging out in the left side of my head causing problems, kind of like I have a naughty piece of cotton stuck in there or something.

I started doing a little research on my own and basically my problem is called Tinnitus. A lot more people have it then you'd think and no one knows what the hell causes it or how to fix it. Sort of like a lot of problems that torment us on a daily basis. If something isn't broken, sticking out of your skin, lumpy, or you're not bleeding, doctors have more important shit to deal with. Frankly I'd rather have a broken arm because I know I can walk into a hospital and any idiot can see that it's broken, whip up a cast that I can have people autograph or stick some pins in me and in a few weeks or months I'll be good as new. What I've found out so far is that certain things might cause this and that's it. Nothing fixes it, except killing yourself or stabbing a pencil in your ear. Don't worry I'm not going to do either, but some people have actually committed suicide from this because they've had it really bad. Mine is just sort of a pain in the ass. Do I listen to really loud music? I have in the past or once in awhile but certainly not enough to cause something like this. You know how sometimes when you go to a really loud club the next morning or when you leave that night you have a ringing in your ears? That's me 24 hours a day.

I did get a physical though and some blood drawn to make sure everything else is fine, and my knee will be fine in time. My ears aren't infected (I was hoping they were) and I got to take a hearing test. No hearing loss except for the tones that are the same frequency as the ones in my head. I guess the next step is to do more research. Thank god for the internet.

So here I sit in a Starbucks, checking my email, writing my blog, drinking my coffee, and realizing how annoying some of the sounds are that come out of a place like this. I'm off to the ski shop to do some work and get some sanity back. I guess it could be worse though, the ringing could be voices.................


At 10:38 AM, Blogger Steppin' On Toes said...

Ouch. I once saw a TV program where they say "certain" people hear frequencies out of this world. Maybe you're one of them. Or maybe it's cuz you have big ears. =P Whatever it is, I'm glad it hasn't made you kill yourself or start talking to yourself, or even (god forbid) stop listening to music.

At 10:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said... doc I would recommend. Dr. Tran at UCLA in Manhattan Beach. The longest wait I had? Seven minutes...including sitting in the office after having my weight taken.


At 7:35 PM, Blogger Thoroughly Amused said...

Awesome, it has been noted. Do you know if he excepts our insurance?


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