Three years ago today I woke up in a hotel room in Warrington UK with a shrill ringing in my right ear. Imagine the smoke alarm going off in the hall. Now imagine that you can’t escape the sound. In my pursuit of relief I have been seen by:
- Three general physicians
- Four ENT’s (ear, nose, throat specialists)
- Two hearing specialists
- One acupuncturist
- One chiropractor
- Two dentists
I have had a half-dozen hearing tests and three MRI’s. After three years, all that I know for sure is that what I have is called tinnitus and that the medical system is badly in need of repair.
I continue to remain optimistic that someday this incessant ringing in my ear will subside. I grew up in farm country in Southern Ontario, Canada, far from the sounds and the bustle of urban life. I treasure silence and the calming background of nature. Alas, silence is no more. I have learned to live with constant sound in the background as a mask to the ringing. I have honed my concentration skills to reach beyond my ear, beyond the external sounds, and focus on the thoughts at hand. I have even learned to sleep with earbuds and an iPod while the sounds of recorded crickets draw my mind away from my ear and back to those warm summer nights in rural Canada where the chorus of crickets and frogs would sing me to sleep.